Burn ban called for Pierce County

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Due to stagnant weather conditions and rising air pollution, the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency is issuing a Stage 1 burn ban for Greater Pierce County, effective 1 PM today, Jan. 13.

This ban is in effect until further notice.

Overnight Sunday,  cooler temperatures and stagnant winds in many locations in Pierce County caused pollution levels in South Tacoma to exceeded health levels for sensitive groups. This weather pattern will likely continue for the next two days and were at risk of exceeding air quality standards without a burn ban. Winds and rain should return by Wednesday.

Pierce County residents on the “Pierce Peninsula” (Gig Harbor Fire #5, Key Peninsula #16, Anderson Island #27) and in “South Pierce” county (Roy Fire #17, Eatonville, Ashford #23) are not included in the burn ban. Check the Pierce County Burn Ban Area Map for more specific information.

The purpose of a burn ban is to reduce the amount of pollution that is creating unhealthy air usually due to excessive wood smoke. The Clean Air Agency will continue to closely monitor the situation.

During a Stage 1 burn ban:

  • No burning is allowed in wood-burning fireplaces, uncertified wood stoves or fireplace inserts. 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 the homeowner has a previously approved ‘No Other Adequate Source of Heat’ exemption from the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency.
  • 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.

It is OK to use natural gas and propane stoves or inserts during a Stage 1 burn ban.

The Washington State Department of Health recommends that people who are sensitive to air pollution limit their time spent outdoors, especially when exercising. Air pollution can trigger asthma attacks, cause difficulty breathing, and make lung and heart problems worse. Air pollution is especially harmful to people with lung and heart problems, people with diabetes, children, and older adults (over age 65).

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

Pierce County Text Alerts:

     Send a text to 313131 with one the keywords:

  • PIERCEBURN for all of Pierce County
  • PENINSULA for the Pierce Peninsula
  • SOUTHPIERCE for South Pierce County

For more information visit:

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