Snohomish County, Tulalip Reservation under burn bans

Indoor and outdoor fires are prohibited due to “stagnant” winter air causing smoke pollution.

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EVERETT — Most of Snohomish County is under a Stage 1 burn ban prohibiting indoor wood fires as stagnant winter air conditions heighten the risk of smoke pollution, according to a press release from the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency.

The ban went into effect on Nov. 13 and lasts until further notice, the press release said. It applies to the entire county except Darrington, which falls under its own separate burn ban area as defined by the Clean Air Agency. Much of Pierce County is also under a ban.

The press release said there were “high levels” of wood smoke in parts of Snohomish County on Saturday night. A pattern of “stagnant” winter weather with little air movement to dilute the smoke’s polluting effects is expected to last through at least the middle of the week. The agency anticipated that continued wood burning at the same rates could lead to air quality levels unhealthy for sensitive groups, the release said.

Under the Stage 1 ban, burning wood in fireplaces or uncertified wood stoves and fireplace inserts is prohibited, as are outdoor fires. According to the Clean Air Agency’s website, stoves and inserts certified by the Environmental Protection Agency are acceptable for use during the ban. Propane and natural gas stoves are also allowed.

The press release encouraged residents to use “cleaner” forms of heating in homes while the ban lasts, including baseboard heaters or furnaces. The Clean Air Agency issues permits exempting homes with no alternative to wood-burning heat sources, according to its website.

On Monday, the Environmental Protection Agency issued a ban on outdoor burning for the Tulalip Reservation, citing the same pattern of stagnant weather. Ceremonial and traditional fires are exempt from the ban.

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