Category Archives: NWCAA

Northwest Clean Air Agency

Burn ban lifted for Columbia Valley in Whatcom County

KENDALL – Effective immediately, the Northwest Clean Air Agency is canceling a Stage 2 air quality burn ban in the Columbia Valley urban growth area in the Kendall area of Whatcom County.

A weather inversion caused by a high-pressure system is breaking up. During the inversion, cold, stagnant air kept fine smoke particles from wood burning from clearing out, which degraded air quality.

During a Stage 2 burn ban, all burning is prohibited unless you have an exemption from NWCAA. (See http://nwcleanairwa.gov/wood-heating-exemption-forms for information.)

Burn ban violators could face fines and other enforcement actions. In addition, remember that it is always illegal to emit excess chimney smoke that impacts your neighbors. It is also illegal to burn trash.

Burn bans are based on weather forecasts and current air pollution from small particles. They are called when air quality is predicted to be worse than the national health-based standard for at least 24 hours.

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 age 65 and older.

Check www.waburnbans.net or NWCAA’s website (www.nwcleanairwa.gov) for up-to-date burn ban information.

More information

Stage 2 burn ban now in effect in Columbia Valley

KENDALL – The Northwest Clean Air Agency is elevating a Stage 1 air quality burn ban to a Stage 2 burn ban in the Columbia Valley urban growth area in Whatcom County because cold, stagnant air is keeping smoke from wood burning from clearing out.

During a Stage 2 burn ban, all burning is prohibited unless you qualify for an exemption from NWCAA. (See http://nwcleanairwa.gov/wood-heating-exemption-forms for information.)

During a Stage 2 burn ban:

  • No burning is allowed in any wood-burning fireplaces, woodstoves, or fireplace inserts (certified or uncertified), and pellet stoves unless you have an exemption from NWCAA.
  • No outdoor fires of any kind are allowed. This includes burning of yard waste, land clearing, agricultural burning, and forest burning, plus recreational fires in devices like backyard fire kettles, chimneys, and fire pits.

As air quality improves, Northwest Clean Air will lower the burn ban to Stage 1 or cancel it. Check www.waburnbans.net or NWCAA’s website (www.nwcleanairwa.gov) for up-to-date burn ban information.

Burn ban violators could face fines and other enforcement actions. Remember that it is always illegal to emit excess chimney smoke and impact your neighbors. It is also illegal to burn trash.

The burn ban is based on weather forecasts and current air pollution from small particles. Right now, air quality is predicted to be worse than the national health-based standard for at least 24 hours.

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 age 65 and older.

More information

Stage 1 burn ban called for Columbia Valley in Whatcom County

For Immediate Release – Dec. 7, 2017

KENDALL – The Northwest Clean Air Agency is calling a Stage 1 air quality burn ban for the Columbia Valley urban growth area in Whatcom County because smoke particles are reducing air quality.

Fine particles in wood smoke are harmful because they can be inhaled deeply into lungs and damage delicate tissues.

During a Stage 1 air quality burn ban:

• All burning in fireplaces or uncertified woodstoves is prohibited unless you qualify for an exemption from NWCAA. (See http://nwcleanairwa.gov/wood-heating-exemptionforms/ for more information.) No outdoor burning is allowed, including residential, agricultural and forest burning.

• Use of certified woodstoves, pellet stoves, and other certified wood-burning devices is allowed. Residents are urged to make sure to limit wood smoke from those devices.

Burn ban violators could face fines and other enforcement actions. Remember that it is always illegal to emit excess chimney smoke and impact your neighbors. It is also illegal to burn trash.

The burn ban is based on weather forecasts and current air pollution from small particles. Right now, air quality is predicted to be worse than the national health-based standard for at least 24 hours.

The Stage 1 ban will remain in effect until further notice. If conditions get worse, Northwest Clean Air will move to a Stage 2 burn ban. Check NWCAA’s website (www.nwcleanairwa.gov) for up-to-date burn ban information.

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 age 65 and older.

More information

• Local air quality information: Northwest Clean Air Agency.

• Statewide air quality monitoring: Washington Department of Ecology.

DNR Bans all Recreational Fires and BBQs on state-protected lands — including State Parks

With the arrival this week of the most dangerous fire weather of the year, Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark is expanding the statewide burn ban effective noon today, Aug. 17 to prohibit all campfires on DNR-protected lands through Sept. 30, 2016.

“After a relatively mild summer, we are entering a period of critical fire weather on both sides of the Cascades,” said Goldmark. “The greatest fire danger right now comes from carelessness. It’s essential that people understand the risks involved and do not spark any fires.”

Goldmark sees special wildfire risk over the coming days throughout the state, as high-pressure weather patterns will keep away the marine moisture that normally limits the spread of wildfire. The ability of Washington’s forests and grasslands to resist wildfire remains weakened after last year’s record drought.

The statewide burn ban applies to state forests, state parks and forestlands protected by DNR firefighters. It prohibits all outdoor burning, including campfires in fire pits and the use of charcoal briquettes. Liquid gas or propane camp stoves that do not use solid briquettes and have on/off controls are permitted.

The statewide ban does not include federally-owned lands such as national forests, national parks, national wildlife refuges or other areas administered by federal agencies.

This fire season to date, there have been 527 fires on 3,372 acres. By comparison, at this point in 2015, there had been 803 fires burning 319,551 acres. In 2014 by this date, there were 590 fires burning 190,742 acres.

In 2015, a record drought, low snowpack and weeks of hot, dry weather brought Washington’s worst-ever wildfire season, burning more than a million acres across the state.

“Our fire crews have been effective so far this season in keeping fires small and getting them out quickly,” said Goldmark. “I ask all Washingtonians to give them a hand by being careful and responsible when working or playing on our iconic landscapes.”

DNR’s wildfire mission

Administered by Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark, DNR is the state’s largest on-call fire department, responsible for preventing and fighting wildfires on 13 million acres of private, state, and tribal-owned forestlands in Washington. During fire season, DNR’s wildfire force includes more than 1,300 trained employees. DNR also participates in Washington’s coordinated interagency approach to firefighting.