A burn ban is in effect in King, Snohomish and Pierce counties due to stagnant weather conditions and increasing levels of air pollution.
Puget Sound Clean Air Energy said the ban prohibits the use of fireplaces and uncertified woodstoves in all three counties. In addition, the use of pellet stoves and certified woodstoves is prohibited in Snohomish County where the ban is categorized as a Stage 2 ban.
The ban will continue until further notice but does not affect those who depend on a wood-burning device as their only source of heat, according to the agency.
“Calling a burn ban when it’s this cold out is not something we want to do, or that we take lightly,” Craig Kenworthy, the executive director of the agency, wrote in a news statement released Sunday. “People in our region have already been exposed to high levels of fine particle pollution a number of times this year. We’re asking people to use another source of heat for what we hope is a short time.”
The purpose of a ban is to reduce the amount of pollution due to excessive wood smoke. Violators could be subject to a $1,000 fine, the agency said.