Thursday, January 12, 2012
CONTACT: Dan A. Nelson, ORCAA Public Information Officer, Ext. 111
Stage Two Burn Ban called for Thurston County
A Stage Two Burn Ban has been called for Thurston County, effective 9 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 12, 2012 and will continue indefinitely.
No burning is allowed in fireplaces or wood stoves (certified and uncertified), and all outdoor burning is prohibited, even in areas where outdoor burning is not permanently banned. The ban will be lifted only after a change in weather arrives to improve the air quality.
While pollution levels in Thurston County warrant the Stage Two Ban, Mason County remains under a Stage 1 Burn Ban, but other counties within the jurisdiction of the Olympic Region Clean Air Agency (ORCAA) haven’t reached that level. To avoid bans in their areas, the residents of Pacific, Grays Harbor, Clallam and Jefferson Counties are asked to voluntarily refrain from all outdoor burning, and to use safe alternatives to wood heat if possible.
Of particular concern are fine particles released by smoke from outdoor burning as well as from the use of wood stoves and fireplaces. The Washington State Department of Health recommends that people who are sensitive to air pollution limit time spent outdoors. Air pollution can trigger asthma attacks, cause difficulty breathing, and make lung and heart problems worse. Air pollution is especially harmful to children, people with heart and lung problems, and adults over age 65.
Restrictions 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, unless this is your only adequate source of heat. 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.
• If your fireplace, pellet stove, or wood stove is your only adequate source of heat and therefore must be used, you must operate it cleanly. No visible smoke is allowed.
• No outdoor fires of any kind are allowed. This includes recreational fires as well as the use of backyard fire kettles, chimineas or firepits.
• Burn ban violations are subject to a monetary penalty.
• During a Stage 2 ban, residents may use natural gas and propane appliances.
Under a Stage 1 Ban, no burning is allowed in fireplaces or uncertified wood stoves, and all outdoor burning is prohibited, even in areas where outdoor burning is not permanently banned. Additionally, no visible smoke is allowed from any wood stove or fireplace, certified or not, beyond a 20-minute start-up period.
Olympic Region Clean Air Agency staff will continue to monitor the situation to determine when the burn ban can be lifted.
We make every effort to ensure that all burn ban announcements and restrictions are posted. Always call or visit your county and local clean air agency and check the DNR fire danger for the most current information.