Burn ban archives for: King County

DNR eases campfire restrictions after rains

Other outdoor burning still prohibited due to continuing high fire danger

OLYMPIA – With rain and cooler temperatures easing fire danger across Washington, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is lifting restrictions on recreational campfires.

Effective 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 20, campfires will be allowed in approved fire pits in designated campgrounds Washington lands protected by DNR.

Because forests and rangelands remain dry from the summer’s low precipitation totals, other forms of outdoor burning, such as debris burning, remain prohibited under the burn ban ordered by Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz.

“We’re thankful to have rain help wet our landscapes, but as we saw with a quick-moving fire east of Ellensburg Sunday evening, we’re not out of fire season quite yet,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz. “I urge everyone to check with their local authorities before lighting campfires.”

Check local restrictions

Counties and local fire districts may have their own continued campfire bans. Burn restrictions on federally-owned lands, such as national forests, national parks, national wildlife refuges or other areas are administered by federal agencies. Check local restrictions, campground signs or with campground hosts before starting a campfire.

For current information on burn restrictions, call 1-800-323-BURN or visit DNR’s webpage showing fire danger and burning restrictions by county: www.dnr.wa.gov/burn-restrictions.

Those choosing to have a campfire in allowed areas should:

  • Use an approved or provided fire pit only; don’t create a new one.
  • Keep the campfire small.
  • Keep plenty of water and a shovel nearby.
  • Never leave the campfire unattended.
  • To extinguish a campfire: drown with water, mix ashes, scrape partially-burned sticks and logs, and alternate drowning and mixing until cold. A campfire too hot to touch, is too hot to leave.

 More than 90 percent of Washington’s wildfires this year have been human-caused. As of Sept. 19, 2017, DNR has responded to 745 wildfires this year. Here is a year-to-date comparison of the last 5 years:

  • 2012 – 671 fires for 67,455 acres
  • 2013 – 722 fires for 126,027 acres
  • 2014 – 808 fires for 314,565 acres
  • 2015 – 953 fires for 753,104 acres
  • 2016 – 766 fires for 16,403 acres

Escaped and abandoned campfires are one of the state’s leading causes of wildfires, with an average of 105 fires started by campfires over the past five years. Washington also sees an average of 140 fires started by debris burning every year.

DNR’s wildfire mission

Administered by Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz, DNR is responsible for preventing and fighting wildfires on 13 million acres of private, state and tribal-owned forestlands. DNR is the state’s largest on-call fire department and participates in Washington’s coordinated interagency approach to firefighting.

 

Air Quality Burn Bans Lifted For King, Kitsap, Pierce, And Snohomish Counties

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 11, 2017

BURN BANS LIFTED FOR KING, KITSAP, PIERCE, AND SNOHOMISH COUNTIES

No Air Quality Burn Bans In Effect

SEATTLE, WA – The burn ban is lifted in King, Kitsap, Pierce, and Snohomish Counties as of today, August 11, 2017.  Effective 2 PM, there are no air quality burn bans currently in effect in the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency jurisdiction.

Fire safety burn bans are still in effect! Contact your county fire marshal for more information.

Smoke levels have reduced to MODERATE or GOOD in most areas now.  Winds have reversed, and we expect the British Columbia wildfire smoke to blow east again for the next couple weeks.  That means we return to our more typical summertime GOOD air quality.

The BC wildfires aren’t expected to stop until the fall rains come, so another high pressure ridge could return the smoke.  But thankfully, the 2-week outlook continues to keep smoke away from Puget Sound.

The fire near Darrington is contained, but still smoldering.  As a result, we may still see smoke levels that are MODERATE or even UNHEALTHY FOR SENSITIVE GROUPS there when the winds come from the NE.

We will continue to monitor the conditions closely and send out updates as needed. We thank everyone for not burning not during this ban. Children, the elderly, and people with chronic respiratory health issues especially benefit from your efforts.

Visit www.pscleanair.org/burnban to view the current burn ban status, download our mobile app, and other burn ban alert options for you area.

For more information:

# # #

The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency is an air quality management agency serving King, Kitsap, Pierce and Snohomish counties. Created as a result of the 1967 Washington Clean Air Act, the agency protects public health by adopting and enforcing air quality regulations, educating individuals and businesses about clean-air choices and sponsoring voluntary initiatives to improve air quality.

The Agency fully complies with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and does not discriminate based on race, color, sex, or national origin in its programs and activities. In addition, the Agency also assures non-discrimination on the basis of creed, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, disability, marital, or veteran status. For more information, or to submit a title VI Complaint, go to www.pscleanair.org or call (206) 343-8800.

Stage 1 Burn Ban Called For King, Kitsap, Pierce, & Snohomish Counties

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 8, 2017

STAGE 1 BURN BAN CALLED FOR KING, KITSAP, PIERCE, & SNOHOMISH COUNTIES

All outdoor burning is prohibited until air quality improves

SEATTLE, WA – With more wildfire smoke from British Columbia moving into our region, the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency is issuing a Stage 1 air quality burn ban for King, Kitsap, Pierce, and Snohomish Counties, effective at 2 PM today, August 8, 2017.

This ban is in effect until further notice and is in addition to existing fire safety burn bans.

With high pressure pushing more smoke into the Puget Sound area, we forecast levels that are UNHEALTHY FOR SENSITIVE GROUPS through Friday.  We expect calm winds and smoke to settle daily.  Saturday and onward, the area of high pressure should push eastward, bringing us back our more typical and cleaner air from the Pacific Ocean.

The purpose of the burn ban is to reduce any additional harm to sensitive populations from excess air pollution and is in addition to existing fire safety burn bans. The Clean Air Agency will continue to closely monitor the situation for purposes of air quality burn bans.

Children, pregnant women, older adults, and those with heart and breathing problems should avoid physical exertion outdoors.  If possible, seek clean, air-conditioned indoor air (e.g. public libraries, “cooling centers”, community and senior centers).

No burning during a Stage 1 air quality burn ban including:

  • No charcoal barbeques or similar solid fuel devices
  • No fire pits, chimineas, fire bowls, or similar free-standing devices
  • No campfires or bonfires
  • No fireplaces, uncertified wood stoves, or uncertified inserts*
  • No agricultural fires (as described in the agricultural burn permit)
  • Local fire districts do not grant Native American ceremonial fire permits outside of tribal lands during air quality burn bans.

It is OK to use natural gas and propane grills, stoves, or inserts during a Stage 1 burn ban.

* The only exception to using fireplaces and uncertified wood stoves or inserts, is if the homeowner has a previously approved ‘No Other Adequate Source of Heat’ exemption from the Clean Air Agency

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).

Visit pscleanair.org/burnban to view the current burn ban status and:

  • Download our free mobile app “Burn Ban 411
  • Find out what other alerts might be available in the area

For more information:

# # #

The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency is an air quality management agency serving King, Kitsap, Pierce and Snohomish counties. Created as a result of the 1967 Washington Clean Air Act, the agency protects public health by adopting and enforcing air quality regulations, educating individuals and businesses about clean-air choices and sponsoring voluntary initiatives to improve air quality.

The Agency fully complies with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and does not discriminate based on race, color, sex, or national origin in its programs and activities. In addition, the Agency also assures non-discrimination on the basis of creed, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, disability, marital, or veteran status. For more information, or to submit a title VI Complaint, go to www.pscleanair.org or call (206) 343-8800.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 5, 2017

BURN BANS LIFTED FOR KING, KITSAP, PIERCE, AND SNOHOMISH COUNTIES

No Air Quality Burn Bans In Effect

SEATTLE, WA – The burn ban is lifted in King, Kitsap, Pierce, and Snohomish Counties as of today, August 5, 2017.  Effective immediately, there no air quality burn bans currently in effect in the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency jurisdiction.

Fire safety burn bans are still in effect! Contact your county fire marshal for more information.

The Puget Sound has returned to mostly GOOD and MODERATE air quality due to shifting winds bringing cleaner air at the surface (breathing level). We expect this weather pattern, and GOOD and MODERATE air quality, to continue through the weekend and into next week.

While the regional air quality has improved substantially, there are still some local issues and longer term issues that we will continue to monitor. Smaller wildfires near Darrington have raised the pollution levels to near Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups. Also, ozone levels in the Cascade foothills have been elevated and may reach Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups in the afternoon for the next several days.

Looking ahead, significant amounts of wildfire smoke may remain in the region at higher altitudes although the surface air (breathing level) has improved substantially. Haze is likely to be visible, and it possible that we may see isolated, localized pollution spikes within the next week.

We will continue to monitor the conditions closely and send out updates as needed. We thank everyone for not burning not during this ban. Children, the elderly, and people with chronic respiratory health issues especially benefit from your efforts.

Visit www.pscleanair.org/burnban to view the current burn ban status, download our mobile app, and other burn ban alert options for you area.

For more information:

# # #

The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency is an air quality management agency serving King, Kitsap, Pierce and Snohomish counties. Created as a result of the 1967 Washington Clean Air Act, the agency protects public health by adopting and enforcing air quality regulations, educating individuals and businesses about clean-air choices and sponsoring voluntary initiatives to improve air quality.

The Agency fully complies with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and does not discriminate based on race, color, sex, or national origin in its programs and activities. In addition, the Agency also assures non-discrimination on the basis of creed, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, disability, marital, or veteran status. For more information, or to submit a title VI Complaint, go to www.pscleanair.org or call (206) 343-8800.