The Stage 1 burn ban in Okanogan County will continue through 9 a.m., Tuesday, Dec. 19, for the communities of Pateros, Methow, Carlton, Twisp, Winthrop and Mazama.
The Washington Department of Ecology is extending the ban because air quality is not expected to improve in the valley over the weekend, putting the communities at risk for air pollution to reach unhealthy levels. Fine particles from wood smoke can easily get into people’s lungs causing heart and breathing problems.
The ban in Asotin, Chelan, Douglas, Ferry, Kittitas, Klickitat, Pend Oreille, Stevens and other parts of Okanogan expires at 10 a.m., Dec. 15.
Under a Stage 1 ban, all outdoor burning is prohibited including residential, agricultural and forest burning. Use of uncertified wood stoves, fireplaces, inserts, and other uncertified wood-burning devices are prohibited unless they are a home’s only adequate source of heat. Cleaner burning certified wood stoves, pellet stoves and other certified wood-burning devices are allowed.