Burn ban extended in Chelan, Douglas and Okanogan counties
A Stage 1 burn ban has been extended until 10 a.m. Monday, Dec. 16, in Chelan, Douglas and Okanogan counties, according to the Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology). Poor dispersion is expected to continue to degrade air quality over the next few days.
The Stage 1 ban applies to the use of uncertified wood-burning devices (including wood stoves, inserts and fireplaces).
The ban also applies to all outdoor burning, including residential, agricultural and forest burning.
Under a Stage 1 ban, the use of uncertified wood-burning devices – including fireplaces, wood stoves and inserts – is prohibited unless they are a home’s only adequate source of heat.
Certified wood-burning devices and pellet stoves are allowed. Ecology recommends burning hot fires using only clean, dry wood. No excessive smoke is allowed from any wood-burning device beyond a 20-minute start-up.
Smoke from outdoor burning and wood-burning devices builds up where cold air is trapped near the ground. 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 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.
By limiting burning and following restrictions when burn bans are called, residents can help improve air quality sooner.
Ecology recommends that people limit vehicle trips, combine errands or use public transportation to reduce air pollution.