Clear, cold and calm weather conditions prompted the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency Friday to issue a Stage 2 burn ban for parts of Pierce County.
“With calm winds allowing air pollution to remain, continued cold temps and ongoing wood burning, we will likely see unhealthy air pollution levels linger for a few days,” the agency said in a press release.
During a Stage 2 burn ban, outdoor fires are prohibited. Residents also cannot use wood-burning fireplaces, wood stoves or fireplace inserts unless they have previously received approval based on having no other adequate source of heat.
Burn ban violations are subject to a $1,000 penalty. The use of natural gas or propane stoves or inserts is still allowed.
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The burn ban does not apply to the Gig Harbor and Key peninsulas and the Roy and Eatonville areas. To see more detail about which areas are excluded, go to the clean air agency’s website at www.pscleanair.org.
The Washington State Department of Health advises that people who are sensitive to air pollution should limit time spent outdoors, especially when exercising. Air pollution is especially harmful to people with lung and heart problems, people with diabetes, children and adults over 65.