Wildfire Smoke Prompts Air Quality Burn Ban in Skagit, Island and Whatcom Counties

Stage 1 Burn Ban
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Skagit County, WA- The Northwest Clean Air Agency is calling for a Stage 1 air quality burn ban for Island, Skagit and Whatcom Counties because high  levels of harmful wildfire smoke particles are impairing our local air quality.

According to a press release from the Northwest Clean Air Agency, the Stage 1 Air Quality Burn Ban went into effect at 8:00 a.m. on August 20th, 2018 and will remain in effect until further notice.

This air quality burn ban is in addition to,  and separate from,  the fire safety burn bans already in effect in Skagit, Whatcom and Island Counties due to increased fire danger in the areas.

“Northwest Clean Air Agency is calling an air quality burn ban in addition to the existing fire safety burn bans to further reduce smoke in our area and protect public health,” said NWCAA Executive Director Mark Buford. “Once the air has cleared, we will remove the air quality burn ban. But the fire safety burn bans will remain in place until fire officials determine that fire danger has passed.”

People can inhale tiny smoke particles deeply into lungs and damage delicate tissues. That can trigger asthma attacks, cause difficulty breathing, and make lung and heart problems worse. Air pollution is especially harmful to children, people with heart and lung problems, and adults ages 65 and older.

No outdoor burning is allowed, including residential and agricultural burning, during a Stage 1 air quality burn ban. Home heating with fireplaces and uncertified wood stoves is also prohibited. This ban includes recreational fires like campfires and fire pits.

The Stage 1 Air Quality burn ban is based on weather forecasts and current air pollution from small particles. Right now, air quality is predicted to be worse than the national health-based standard for at least the next 24-hours.

Northwest Clean Air Agency will move to a Stage 2 burn ban if conditions get worse. Check NWCAA’s website by clicking here  for up-to-date burn ban information or check Twitter (@NWCleanAir) or NWCAA’s Facebook page.

Burn ban violators could face stiff fines and other enforcement actions.

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