Burn ban lifted – again

Beach bonfires can be added to your weekend agenda: the air quality burn ban has been lifted for King, Kitsap, Pierce, and Snohomish Counties.

The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency says smoke levels have reduced to moderate or good in most areas.  “Winds have reversed, and we expect the British Columbia wildfire smoke to blow east again for the next couple weeks.  That means we return to our more typical summertime good air quality,” the agency said in a statement.

The wildfires in British Columbia are expected to continue until the fall rains arrive, so smoke could return with another high pressure system. However, the outlook for the next couple weeks should bring cooler weather and bit of rain, which should help clear the air. 

Visit www.pscleanair.org/burnban to view the current burn ban status.

Photo by Joe Mabel via Wikimedia Commons

Hold off on those bonfires – burn ban is back for King County

With around 20 wildfires still blazing in British Columbia, the air quality burn ban has been reinstated for King County.

The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency has again issued the Stage 1 ban for King, Kitsap, Pierce, and Snohomish Counties, effective at 2pm on August 8. “With high pressure pushing more smoke into the Puget Sound area, we forecast levels that are unhealthy for sensitive groups through Friday,” the agency writes in a statement. “We expect calm winds and smoke to settle daily.  Saturday and onward, the area of high pressure should push eastward, bringing us back our more typical and cleaner air from the Pacific Ocean.”

As a reminder, the Stage 1 ban includes the following:

  • No charcoal barbeques or similar solid fuel devices
  • No fire pits, chimineas, fire bowls, or similar free-standing devices
  • No campfires or bonfires
  • No fireplaces, uncertified wood stoves, or uncertified inserts*
  • No agricultural fires (as described in the agricultural burn permit)
  • Local fire districts do not grant Native American ceremonial fire permits outside of tribal lands during air quality burn bans.

It’s okay to use natural gas and propane grills, stoves, or inserts during a Stage 1 burn ban.

Burn ban lifted for King County

Even though the haze is still lingering, the air quality burn ban has lifted for King County and surrounding areas. That means bonfires and charcoal barbecues are okay for now, however, the fire safety burn ban in still in effect.


“The Puget Sound has returned to mostly good and moderate air quality due to shifting winds bringing cleaner air at the surface (breathing level). We expect this weather pattern, and good and moderate air quality, to continue through the weekend and into next week,” the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency said in a statement.

Wildfires in B.C. are still burning, so we may see continued smoke this week in Seattle. (See this map of active fires.) “Looking ahead, significant amounts of wildfire smoke may remain in the region at higher altitudes although the surface air (breathing level) has improved substantially. Haze is likely to be visible, and it possible that we may see isolated, localized pollution spikes within the next week.”

Burn ban in effect as smoke from B.C. wildfires moves south

A burn ban is now effect in response to the decreasing air quality in the region as smoke from British Columbia wildfires moves into King County. The Stage 1 air quality burn ban is in effect as of 4pm today for King, Kitsap, Pierce, and Snohomish Counties.

The increasing wildfire smoke means air pollution levels are now considered unhealthy for sensitive groups in many parts of the region; the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency expects it to continue at least through Friday.

According to the agency, the ban is to reduce any additional harm to sensitive populations from excess air pollution, and is in addition to existing fire safety burn bans.

From the Clean Air Agency:

No outdoor burning during a Stage 1 air quality burn ban including:

  • No charcoal barbeques
  • No fire pits, chimineas, fire bowls, or similar free-standing devices
  • No campfires or bonfires
  • No fireplaces, uncertified wood stoves, or uncertified inserts*
  • No agricultural fires (as described in the agricultural burn permit)
  • Native American ceremonial fire permits outside of tribal lands are not granted from the local fire district during air quality burn bans.

The agency notes that it is okay to use natural gas and propane stoves or inserts during a Stage 1 burn ban.

For more information about the burn ban, click here.

PSCAA issues air quality burn ban for King County

Update Saturday, January 4:

The PSCAA has confirmed that the burn ban in King County is now lifted.

Original Post:

The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency (PSCAA) issued a burn ban for the entirety King County yesterday which is in place until further notice.

The burn ban is currently at “stage one” level which bans burning in fireplaces, uncertified wood stoves, uncertified wood inserts and outdoor burning. Under the stage one ban, burning is permitted in EPA certified wood stoves, EPA certified wood inserts and pellet stoves and inserts.

For Seattle Parks and Recreation, this means that beach fires at Golden Gardens Park (8498 Seaview Ave NW) are also prohibited until the ban is lifted.

The PSCAA issues air quality burn bans when air pollution rises, or is forecasted to reach, unhealthy levels. “Fine particle pollution levels continue to be high in areas throughout the Puget Sound region, especially in neighborhoods where wood-burning is common,” writes the PSCAA.

Residents are advised to rely on their home’s other source of heat such as a furnace or electric baseboard heaters until air quality improves and the ban is lifted. The only exception to this ban is if the homeowner has a previously approved ‘No Other Adequate Source of Heat’ designation from the Clean Air Agency

Locals who violate the ban could face a $1,000 fine from the PSCAA.

To learn more about the burn ban click here.

PSCAA air quality burn ban now in effect

Update December 2 :

As of 12 p.m. this afternoon the burn ban for King County has been lifted. PSCAA expects to see increased wind speeds throughout today and pollution levels are forecasted to fall to moderate.

Original Post:

Due to stagnant weather conditions and rising air pollution ,the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency (PSCAA) has issued a burn ban for the entirety King County which came into effect at 1 p.m. yesterday.

The burn ban is currently at “stage two” level which bans burning in any wood-burning fireplaces, wood stoves, fireplace inserts (certified or uncertified) or pellet stoves.

For Seattle Parks and Recreation, this means that beach fires at Golden Gardens Park (8498 Seaview Ave NW) are also prohibited until the ban is lifted.

The PSCAA issues air quality burn bans when air pollution rises, or is forecasted to reach, unhealthy levels. “Fine particle pollution levels continue to be high in areas throughout the Puget Sound region, especially in neighborhoods where wood-burning is common,” writes the PSCAA.

The front expected this evening is showing rain and winds that will clear the air. However, daytime winds will not be sufficient to significantly reduce pollution levels in King and Pierce counties, especially in areas where wood burning is common.

Residents are advised to rely on their home’s other source of heat such as a furnace or electric baseboard heaters until air quality improves and the ban is lifted. The only exception to this ban is if the homeowner has a previously approved ‘No Other Adequate Source of Heat’ designation from the Clean Air Agency

Locals who violate the ban could face a $1,000 fine from the PSCAA. The My Ballard team will update readers when the burn ban is lifted.

To learn more about the burn ban click here.

PSCAA issues air quality burn ban for King County

The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency (PSCAA) has issued a burn ban for the entirety King County set to start at noon today and continue until 6 a.m. tomorrow morning.

The burn ban is currently at “stage two” level which bans burning in any wood-burning fireplaces, wood stoves, fireplace inserts (certified or uncertified) or pellet stoves.

For Seattle Parks and Recreation, this means that beach fires at Golden Gardens Park (8498 Seaview Ave NW) are also prohibited until the ban is lifted.

The PSCAA issues air quality burn bans when air pollution rises, or is forecasted to reach, unhealthy levels. “Fine particle pollution levels continue to be high in areas throughout the Puget Sound region, especially in neighborhoods where wood-burning is common,” writes the PSCAA.

The front expected this evening is showing rain and winds that will clear the air. However, daytime winds will not be sufficient to significantly reduce pollution levels in King and Pierce counties, especially in areas where wood burning is common.

Residents are advised to rely on their home’s other source of heat such as a furnace or electric baseboard heaters until air quality improves and the ban is lifted. The only exception to this ban is if the homeowner has a previously approved ‘No Other Adequate Source of Heat’ designation from the Clean Air Agency

Locals who violate the ban could face a $1,000 fine from the PSCAA.

To learn more about the burn ban click here.

Burn ban lifted for King County

The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency has lifted the burn ban that was issued for King County on Wednesday. This means you can burn fires in your fireplaces and at Golden Gardens. “Agency forecasters were tracking a new weather system expected to arrive last night. Winds from that system are now dispersing the air pollution that built up across the Puget Sound over the past week,” according to a release by the agency.

To check burn ban status, check the website or sign up for e-alerts.

Burn ban means no fires at home or at the beach

A stage one burn ban goes into effect for King County at 4 p.m. today, affecting residential burning and beach fires.

People burning Christmas trees at the Polar Bear Plunge on Jan. 1 at Golden Gardens

“High pressure over the Puget Sound region will bring cold temperatures and calm winds,” according to forecasters with the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency. “Air quality is expected to deteriorate at least through Friday, especially in communities where residential wood burning is common.”

During a Stage 1 burn ban:

  • No burning is allowed in fireplaces or uncertified wood stoves. Residents should rely instead on their home’s other, cleaner source of heat (such as their furnace or electric baseboard heaters) for a few days until air quality improves, the public health risk diminishes and the ban is cancelled. The only exception is if a wood stove is a home’s only adequate source of heat.
  • No outdoor fires are allowed. This includes recreational fires such as bonfires, campfires and the use of fire pits and chimneys.
  • Burn ban violations are subject to a $1,000 penalty.
  • Seattle Parks and Recreation reminds people that this ban does include beach fires at Golden Gardens.

    Stage 2 burn ban in effect

    Unless your wood-burning fireplace is your only source of heat, you shouldn’t be using it, says the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency. “Stable weather conditions, combined with heavy use of wood-burning devices in our region, have created pollution levels that are unhealthy for sensitive group populations,” the agency website states. Because of the air quality, the agency has expanded the “Stage 2 burn ban” to include King County. According to the website, during a Stage 2 burn ban:
    * No burning is allowed in ANY wood-burning fireplaces, wood stoves or fireplace inserts (certified or uncertified) or pellet stoves, unless this is your only adequate source of heat. Residents should rely instead on their home’s other, cleaner source of heat (such as their furnace or electric baseboard heaters) for a few days until air quality improves, the public health risk diminishes and the ban is cancelled
    * Even if your fireplace, pellet stove, or wood stove is your only adequate source of heat, no visible smoke is allowed.
    * No outdoor fires are allowed. This includes recreational fires such as bonfires, campfires and the use of fire pits and chimineas.
    * Burn ban violations are subject to a $1,000 penalty.

    The use of gas and propane stoves and inserts are allowed during burn bans. (Thanks Kate for the tip!)