The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency issued a Stage 1 burn ban for Pierce County effective 1 p.m. today until further notice, due to stagnant weather conditions and rising air pollution.
No burning is allowed in fireplaces or uncertified wood stoves during the ban.
However, wood stoves are allowed to be used if they are a home’s only adequate source of heat. Otherwise, residents must use cleaner sources of heat, such as furnaces or electric baseboard heaters.
Outdoor burning is also prohibited, such as bonfires or the use of fire pits.
Natural gas, propane, pellet and EPA-certified wood stoves or inserts are okay to use during the ban.
Residents who are sensitive to air pollution are advised to limit time outdoors, especially when exercising, according to the Washington State Department of Health.
The pollution can lead to asthma attacks and exacerbate lung and heart problems. Additionally, the pollution is harmful to children, people with diabetes and adults older than 65, according to the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency.
Violators of the ban may face a $1,000 penalty.
Low winds are expected in Pierce County this week, which would bring fog and a buildup of air pollution, the agency said.
Officials expect a system to arrive late Tuesday or early Wednesday that will ventilate the area.