FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 1, 2019
STAGE 2 BURN BAN CALLED FOR GREATER PIERCE* COUNTY
Use of fireplaces and wood stoves is prohibited until air quality improves
Due to stagnant weather conditions and rising air pollution, the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency is issuing a Stage 2 burn ban for Greater Pierce County, effective 2 PM today, January 1, 2019.
This ban is in effect until further notice.
Pollution levels are at MODERATE to UNHEALTHY FOR SENSITIVE GROUPS in Greater Pierce County. Overnight there was a substantial spike in fine particle pollution in South Tacoma, likely from fireworks or late night/early morning burning. We expect stagnant conditions for most of the day, so conditions won’t improve much, and could worsen this evening. Winds should increase overnight tonight and pollution levels should drop by midday 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 2 burn ban:
- No burning is allowed in any wood-burning fireplaces, certified or 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’ designation from the 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 2 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.
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.