Fireplace use is prohibited during King County burn ban
January 3, 2011
NEW — 9:30 a.m. Jan. 3, 2011
Forget about lighting up the fireplace to fight the January chill.
King County is under a Stage 1 burn ban due to increasing air pollution and forecasted stagnant weather conditions.
The ban prohibits burning in fireplaces and uncertified wood stoves or inserts, unless residents lack another adequate source of heat. No visible smoke is allowed from any wood stove or fireplace — certified or not — beyond a 20-minute start-up period, and even if the fireplace or wood stove is the only adequate source of heat.
Residents should instead rely on a cleaner source of heat, such as a furnace or electric baseboard heater, until air quality improves, the public health risk diminishes and the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency lifts the ban.
The ban also prohibits outdoor fires, bonfires, campfires and the use of fire pits and chimineas in all areas.
Violators could face a $1,000 penalty. The air-quality agency put the ban in place for King County on Monday.
“Somewhere out there is an asthmatic child or someone with lung or heart disease who wants to get out and enjoy this holiday weekend just like the rest of us,” Puget Sound Clean Air Agency Executive Director Craig Kenworthy said in a statement released Jan. 1. “We are calling this burn ban to protect their health and the health of everyone in the community, because everyone has the right to breathe clean air.”
The state Department of Health recommends for sensitive to air pollution to limit the time spent outdoors. The pollution can trigger asthma attacks, cause difficulty breathing, and worsen lung and heart problems worse.
The pollution is especially harmful to children, people suffering from heart and lung problems, and adults older than 65.