Fireplace use is prohibited under regional burn ban

January 14, 2013

By Staff

NEW — 10:30 a.m. Jan. 14, 2013

Burning is prohibited in wood-burning fireplaces and wood stoves during a regional burn ban issued by the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency.

The authority issued a burn ban King, Pierce and Snohomish counties until further notice after many areas around Puget Sound reached air pollution levels unhealthy for sensitive groups.

Forecasters expect the cold, dry, and stagnant weather conditions to extend into the week. The agency continues to monitor air quality and weather.

Under a Stage 2 burn ban, no burning is allowed in any wood-burning fireplaces, wood stoves or fireplace inserts, or pellet stoves. Violators face a $1,000 penalty.

Residents should rely instead on other sourced of heat, such as a furnace or electric baseboard heaters for a few days until air quality improves, public health risk diminishes and the ban is ended.

The only exception is if a wood stove is a home’s only adequate source of heat.

The ban also prohibit outdoor fires, including recreational fires — such as bonfires, campfires and the use of fire pits and chimineas.

State health officials recommend for people sensitive to air pollution to limit time spent outdoors, especially when exercising, because air pollution can trigger asthma attacks, cause difficulty breathing, and make lung and heart problems worse.

The pollution is especially harmful to people with lung and heart problems, people with diabetes, children and people 65 and older.

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