Dept. of Ecology to Lift Burn Ban for Eastern Washington - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Dept. of Ecology to Lift Burn Ban for Eastern Washington Counties

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KITTITAS COUNTY, WA - The Department of Ecology says the Stage 1 burn ban in nine counties in Eastern Washington expires at 4:00 Monday afternoon. 

The included counties are Kittitas, Chelan, Douglas, Okanogan, Ferry, Stevens, Pend Oreille, Asotin and Walla Walla.

A Stage 1 ban prohibits the use of uncertified wood-burning devices (including wood stoves, inserts and fireplaces) and all outdoor burning unless they are a home's only adequate source of heat.

By limiting burning and following restrictions when burn bans are called, the Department of Ecology says communities can help improve air quality sooner. 

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. 

The Department of Ecology says fine particles contribute to about 1,100 deaths and about $190 million in health-care costs each year in Washington. 

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 adults over age 65. 

Ecology recommends that people limit vehicle trips, combine errands or use public transportation to reduce air pollution.