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Despite Cold, Burn Ban in Effect for King County

Despite the cold weather, the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency has issued a Stage 2 burn ban in King County in effect as of noon Sunday and in effect until further notice.

Though the weather outside has highs below the mid-30s, the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency issued a Stage 2 burn ban in King County because of the cold, stagnant weather conditions and rising air pollution. The ban was in effect as of noon Sunday and is in effect until further notice.

That means fires are not allowed in any wood-burning fireplaces, wood stoves or fireplace inserts (certified or uncertified) or pellet stoves, nor any outdoor fires, such as campfires, bonfires or fire pits.

Natural gas fireplaces and propane is allowed, according to the statement.

The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency issued the following announcement on its website:

Due to continuing cold, stagnant weather conditions and rising air pollution levels, the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency is issuing a Stage 2 burn ban in King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties to protect residents from worsening air quality, effective at noon today (1/13/13). The bans are in effect until further notice.

During a Stage 2 burn ban:

  • No burning is allowed in ANY wood-burning fireplaces, wood stoves or fireplace inserts (certified or uncertified) or pellet stoves. Residents should rely instead on their home’s other, cleaner source of heat (such as their furnace or electric baseboard heaters) for a few days until air quality improves, the public health risk diminishes and the ban is cancelled. The only exception is if a wood stove is a home’s only adequate source of heat.
  • No outdoor fires are allowed. This includes recreational fires such as bonfires, campfires and the use of fire pits and chimineas.
  • Burn ban violations are subject to a $1,000 penalty.

It is OK to use natural gas and propane stoves or inserts during a Stage 2 burn ban.

The Washington State Department of Health recommends that people who are sensitive to air pollution limit time spent outdoors, especially when exercising. Air pollution can trigger asthma attacks, cause difficulty breathing, and make lung and heart problems worse. Air pollution is especially harmful to people with lung and heart problems, people with diabetes, children, and older adults (over age 65).

(Note: The Seattle Parks Department prohibits beach fires at Alki and Golden Gardens during the burn ban.) 

For more information:

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