Here’s why burn bans have been issued for Snohomish, Pierce counties

The use of fireplaces, wood stoves, outdoor fires and campfires are prohibited until further notice.

EVERETT, Wash. — Puget Sound Clean Air Agency appeals Burning ban for Greater Pierce County and Snohomish Countycontinue indefinitely.

There are two types of burning bans, says Phil Swartzendruber, an Air Quality scientist at the Puget Sound Clean Air Authority. One is for fire safety and is more common during the summer months. The other cause is related to air quality and is more common during the winter months.

This November’s burning ban is due to air quality. Swartzendruber says this stems from a combination of weather and people.

At first, people started burning wood because it was too cold.

Burning wood “really causes a rapid build-up of smoke and fine particles in the winter and elevates them to levels that violate federal health standards,” Swartzendruber said.

In addition, he said there are a number of weather conditions that are causing the air quality to deteriorate.

“These cold, quiet and fresh conditions – there is very little wind and the air does not mix at high levels – so all that pollution is very low, even just 20 or so below the ground. 30 feet and not moving,” he told Swartzendruber.

He said it has been three years since the Air Quality Burning Ban was implemented, in part because these conditions have ceased to exist in recent years.

He said the agency would enforce the ban. Violators can be fined up to $1,000. However, he added that the goal is to educate people about the ban before imposing penalties.

The agency reviews conditions every day and determines if the ban needs to be continued. Swartzendruber said a change in weather is needed to end the ban, which is expected by the end of the week.

The agency’s website has the latest information on the status of the ban.

During the Phase 1 burning ban:

  • No fire is allowed in wood-burning fireplaces, wood stoves, or non-certified fireplace inserts. Instead, residents should rely on another, cleaner source of heat in their homes (such as fireplaces or electric baseboard heaters) for several days until air quality improves. public health risk decreased and the ban was lifted.
  • You can use certified wood stoves and pellet stoves.
  • Homeowners who have been previously approved by the Puget Sound Clean Air Authority with a “No other suitable heat source” exemption are allowed to continue using any fuel-burning equipment.
  • Outdoor bonfires are not allowed. This includes recreational fires such as campfires, campfires and the use of fire pits and chimneys.
  • Violation of the burning ban can result in a $1,000 fine.

You can use natural gas and propane ovens, stoves, or inserts during the Phase 1 burn ban.

Clock: Cold winter looms as energy prices rise Here’s why burn bans have been issued for Snohomish, Pierce counties

Edmuns DeMars

Edmund DeMarche is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Edmund DeMarche joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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