Category Archives: SWCAA

Southwest Clean Air Agency

Nov. 15: Air Quality Burn Ban, Stage 1, Called in Clark County

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and the Southwest Clean Air Agency have issued air quality advisories for much of Oregon and Southwest Washington. Smoke from local wood stoves and other sources have combined to create unhealthy air quality in many parts of the region.

The National Weather Service expects winds to clear smoke from the Willamette Valley starting Friday evening. South of Eugene and other parts of the state may continue to experience stagnant air conditions and poor air quality through the weekend.

Local smoke levels can rise and fall rapidly, depending on fire activity and weather factors including wind direction.

View current air quality conditions at DEQ’s Air Quality Index https://oraqi.deq.state.or.us/home/map or by downloading the Oregon air app on smartphones.

Many local jurisdictions are under wood burning restrictions, limiting the use of wood stoves, fireplaces, and outdoor firepits. There are often exceptions for those who use wood exclusively to heat their homes and those with limited income. Check with your local health or air agency for current restrictions. Areas under active wood stove restrictions include:

The Oregon Health Authority urges residents of affected communities to take steps to avoid health problems during smoky conditions, including:

  • Avoid strenuous outdoor activities when air quality is unhealthy.
  • Those with heart or lung problems, as well as young children, are especially vulnerable. These people should stay indoors while smoke levels are high.
  • True high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) and non-ozone producing electrostatic precipitator (ESP) air cleaners and filters can help keep indoor air cleaner.
  • Reduce other sources of indoor smoke. Avoid burning cigarettes and candles; using gas, propane, wood-burning stoves and furnaces; cooking; and vacuuming.
  • If you have heart disease or lung disease, such as asthma, follow your healthcare provider’s advice about prevention and treatment of symptoms.

DNR lifts all burn restrictions in most Western Washington Counties as of 10/2/18

Effective 10/2/2018 the fire danger for is Low so the seasonal DNR Fire Safety Burn Bans have been lifted  in the following counties:

  • Clallam
  • Clark
  • Cowlitz
  • Grays Harbor
  • Island
  • Jefferson
  • King
  • Kitsap
  • Mason
  • Pacific
  • Pierce
  • San Juan
  • Skagit
  • Skamania
  • Snohomish
  • Thurston
  • Wahkiakum
  • Whatcom

If you have a written burning permit from DNR, burning is allowed subject to the conditions of your permit.

you have questions or would like to obtain a DNR burning permit for silvicultural burning, please call Olympic Region DNR at 360-374-2800. Fireworks and incendiary devices such as exploding targets, sky lanterns or tracer ammunition are always illegal on all DNR protected lands, which includes unimproved private property.

Effective Aug. 2, DNR Bans Outdoor Burning Statewide

Some campfires still allowed, check local restrictions before lighting any fire

OLYMPIA –Ninety-six percent of the state is experiencing drought-like conditions, which means a high risk of wildfires. In response, Public Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz is instituting a statewide ban on outdoor burning on the 13 million acres of forests and state parks under DNR fire protection.

Per the Commissioner’s Order, the ban begins Thursday, August 2, 2018.

Included in the outdoor burning ban are burn piles, prescribed burns, and the use of charcoal briquettes.

“When the risk of wildfire is this high – and when so many of our firefighting resources are already committed – we must take significant steps to protect our communities and firefighters,” said Commissioner Hilary Franz. “I know this is an inconvenience, and I appreciate the public understanding that this is not a safe time for intentional burning within our forests.”

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

Campfires are still allowed in approved fire pits within some designated state, county, municipal or other campgrounds.

To avoid accidental wildfires, the public can practice these prevention tips:

Camping and recreating

  • Only build campfires where authorized and when not under a burn ban; put them completely out before leaving camp, even for a few minutes; use plenty of water and stir until the coals are cold to the touch. Check locally before lighting a campfire as conditions may change and counties and local fire districts may have additional or new burn restrictions.
  • Dispose of lit smoking materials appropriately.
  • Fireworks, incendiary ammunition and exploding targets start fires and are illegal to use or discharge on public lands, including all state forests.

 Vehicles and Towing

  • Be sure chains and other metal parts aren’t dragging from your vehicle or trailer. They can throw sparks and start fires.
  • Make sure all off-road vehicles have a properly functioning and approved spark arrester.
  • Be careful driving through or parking on dry grass or brush. Hot exhaust pipes can start the grass on fire. You may not even notice the fire until it’s too late.
  • Check tire pressure and condition. Driving on an exposed wheel rim can cause sparks.
  • Have brakes serviced regularly to prevent brake pads wearing too thin; metal on metal can spark or drop pieces of hot brake pad.

Daily updates on burn restrictions are available at 1-800-323-BURN or on DNR’s website at www.dnr.wa.gov/OutdoorBurning.

The outdoor burning ban is expected to last through Sept. 30, 2018, though may be extended or shortened based upon ongoing fire conditions.

Stay connected during wildfire season

Anyone who spots a wildfire should call 911 as soon as possible to report it.

DNR’s wildfire mission

Led 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 land. DNR is the state’s largest wildfire fighting force.

Stage II Burn Ban Lifted for Clark County

Clark County Stage 2 Burn Ban Lifting

VANCOUVER, WA. – Due to improved air quality and a forecast calling for increasing east winds through the gorge, the Southwest Clean Air Agency (SWCAA) is removing the Burn Ban currently in place for Clark County. Residents may once again use their wood stoves and fireplaces, but are asked to burn as cleanly as possible. Weather forecasters expect the inversions to lift on Friday and east winds from the gorge to increase improving ventilation in the metro area. SWCAA sincerely thanks all who observed the burn ban.

For those who heat with wood, please remember that it is always illegal to produce excess chimney smoke and to smoke out your neighbor. We ask that if people must burn, that they use only dry, seasoned firewood and follow clean burning practices. You are burning properly when you do not see any smoke coming from your chimney. For more information about cleaner wood burning techniques, or to subscribe for email notification of burn bans and advisories please visit www.swcleanair.org/burnclean.html.

In areas of Clark County where burning has not been permanently banned, outdoor burning will again be allowed with the proper permits. However, burning at any time adds to the air pollution levels in your local community, and residents are encouraged to seek alternatives to burning throughout the year. When outdoor burning does take place please note that only natural vegetation may be burned and a smoke nuisance may not be caused. Burn permits require residents to call the burn line prior to burning to ensure that a burn ban is not in effect. State law prohibits the burning of garbage, plastics, home-repair debris, and other prohibited materials at any time. Burn barrels of any kind are also prohibited by state law.