January 30th, 2007
Contact: Carolyn Siems
Phone: (360) 337-4481
Counties Declare Burn Ban effective January 28th
ORCHARD, WA— A Stage One Burn Ban is being called for
King, Kitsap, Pierce and Snohomish counties, effective at 2:00 p.m. Sunday,
January 28. No burning is allowed in fireplaces or uncertified wood stoves,
unless this is your only adequate source of heat, and all outdoor burning is
prohibited, even in areas where outdoor burning is not permanently banned.
A strong ridge of high pressure offshore is creating stagnant conditions
over the Puget Sound area. These conditions are expected to persist through
Wednesday. Pollution levels have risen dramatically as a result of the
trapping inversion and wood-burning, compelling the agency to issue a Stage
One Burn Ban for King, Kitsap, Pierce and Snohomish counties.
Of particular concern are fine particles released by smoke from fireplaces
and uncertified wood stoves. The Washington State Department of Health
recommends that people who are sensitive to air pollution limit time spent
outdoors. Air pollution can trigger asthma attacks, cause difficulty
breathing, and make lung and heart problems worse. Air pollution is
especially harmful to children, people with heart and lung problems, and
adults over age 65.
Puget Sound Clean Air Agency staff will continue to monitor the situation to
determine when the burn ban can be lifted. In the meantime, here are some
other things people can do to help protect the air we breathe:
• If you have a certified wood stove or fireplace insert, make sure you are
using it properly so you don’t produce excess chimney smoke. Excess smoke is
always illegal. To learn more about clean burning techniques or upgrading to
a certified, pellet, natural gas or propane stove, visit
• To determine if your stove is certified, visit the “Wood Stoves &
Fireplaces” section of
• Limit your driving as much as possible, since vehicles are a big source of
air pollution year round.
• Check air-quality forecasts and current conditions at www.pscleanair.org .
You can see how the Puget Sound region’s current and forecasted air-quality
rate on the Air Quality Index, a color-coded system for rating the levels of
pollution. Our goal is to “keep it in the green.”
For more information about Burn Ban regulations, you may refer to Chapter
173-433 of the Washington Administrative Code.