The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency has issued a Stage 1 burn ban for King County. No wood-burning is allowed in fireplaces, uncertified wood stoves or outdoors until the ban is lifted.
A Stage 1 burn ban was also issued for Snohomish County earlier this week while Pierce County is under a Stage 2 burn ban, which also bans wood-burning in certified wood stoves.
The agency issued the burn bans because stagnant air and wood-burning fires have increased fine-particulate pollution in the air. Recent studies have tied wood-smoke exposure to health effects such as aggravated asthma, increased heart attacks, acute bronchitis, and chronic lung disease.
The agency does make exceptions for households that truly don’t have better sources of heat, though, said agency spokeswoman Melissa Paulson. To help low-income residents phase out wood-burning sources of heat, the agency hosts a buy-back program and drawings for a replacement-stove. Some low-income residents may also be eligible for a free heating replacement without entering the drawing.
Updated air quality information and burn-ban updates are available through the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency website or 800-552-3565.