NBCRightNow.com – The Washington
Department of Ecology will continue Stage 1 burn ban in Kittitas,
Chelan, Douglas, Okanogan, Ferry, Stevens, Pend Oreille, Asotin and Walla Walla
counties. Smoke dispersion is expected to remain poor through the weekend,
though temporary clearing is possible in some areas.
The burn ban,
which began Tuesday, will continue until at least 4 p.m., Monday, December 30th. Under
a Stage 1 ban, the use of uncertified wood-burning devices – including
fireplaces, wood stoves and inserts – is prohibited unless they are a home's
only adequate source of heat.
wood-burning devices and pellet stoves are allowed. Ecology recommends burning
hot fires using only clean, dry wood. No excessive smoke is allowed from any
wood-burning device beyond a 20-minute start-up.
burning – including residential, agricultural and forest burning – is
burning and following restrictions when burn bans are called, residents can help
improve air quality sooner.
Department of Ecology's burn
bans do not apply on tribal reservations, where the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency has jurisdiction.
violators are subject to civil penalties. You can report violators by calling
Ecology's smoke complaint hotline (1-866-211-6284). For burn ban updates, go
online to www.waburnbans.net.
outdoor burning and wood-burning devices builds up where cold air is trapped
near the ground. Fine particles in smoke are so small they can easily get into
your lungs. Once there, they can cause heart and breathing problems, and even
death. Children, people with asthma and respiratory illnesses, and adults older
than 65 are most at risk.
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 adults over age 65.
recommends that people limit vehicle trips, combine errands or use public
transportation to reduce air pollution.