January 13, 2019
STAGE 1 BURN BAN CALLED FOR GREATER PIERCE* COUNTY
Use of fireplaces and uncertified wood stoves is prohibited until air quality improves
SEATTLE, WA – Due to stagnant weather conditions and rising air pollution, the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency is issuing a Stage 1 burn ban for Greater Pierce County, effective 1 PM today, January 13, 2019.
This ban is in effect until further notice.
Overnight and this morning we had cooler temperatures and light to stagnant winds in many locations in Pierce County. Pollution levels in South Tacoma exceeded UNHEALTHY FOR SENSITIVE GROUPS for several hours and briefly reached UNHEALTHY levels. We expect this weather pattern to continue for the next two days and are at risk of exceeding air quality standards without a burn ban. Winds and rain should return by Wednesday.
* Pierce County residents on the “Pierce Peninsula” (Gig Harbor Fire #5, Key Peninsula #16, Anderson Island #27) and in “South Pierce” county (Roy Fire #17, Eatonville, Ashford #23) are not included in today’s burn ban. Check the Pierce County Burn Ban Area Map for more specific information.
The purpose of a burn ban is to reduce the amount of pollution that is creating unhealthy air usually due to excessive wood smoke. The Clean Air Agency will continue to closely monitor the situation.
During a Stage 1 burn ban:
- No burning is allowed in wood-burning fireplaces, uncertified wood stoves or fireplace inserts. 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 the homeowner has a previously approved ‘No Other Adequate Source of Heat’ exemption from the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency.
- 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 1 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).
Visit pscleanair.org/burnban to view the current burn ban status.
Pierce County Text Alerts:
Send a text to 313131 with one the keywords:
- PIERCEBURN for all of Pierce County
- PENINSULA for the Pierce Peninsula
- SOUTHPIERCE for South Pierce County
For more information visit:
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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.