Stage 1 Burn Ban in King County

The Washington Department of Ecology is warning Washington residents of smoke.

Officials say winds coming from the north are pushing smoke from about 150 wildfires in Canada into Washington.

Currently, air quality in the state is “among the worst in the country,” according to Dr. Ranil Dhammapala with the Washington Department of Ecology.

According to Puget Sound Clean Air Agency, air quality for Pierce County, Kitsap County, King County and Snohomish County is listed as ‘unhealthy for sensitive groups.’

The agency has issued a Stage 1 air quality burn ban for the above counties. The burn ban is in effect until conditions improve.

“Unfortunately it means we have to limit our outdoor actives, even healthy people shouldn’t be spending prolonged amount of time outdoors,” said Ranil Dhammapala with the Department of Ecology. “This weather pattern we’re locked in it. It’s going to keep the BC smoke flowing. We will need a good southwest wind to clean it out and that’s not forecast until at least not on the immediate horizon not until early next week.”

A Stage 1 burn ban prohibits the following:

– Charcoal barbeques
– Fire pits, chimineas, fire bowls, or similar free-standing devices
– Campfires or bonfires
– Fireplaces, uncertified wood stoves, or uncertified inserts
– Agricultural fires (as described in the agricultural burn permit)

Burn ban violations are subject to a $1,000 penalty.

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By: Eric Wilkinson, Kelsey Caulfield, Jenna Hanchard and Jennifer Van Burkleo  of King 5