Unless your wood-burning fireplace is your only source of heat, you shouldn’t be using it, says the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency. “Stable weather conditions, combined with heavy use of wood-burning devices in our region, have created pollution levels that are unhealthy for sensitive group populations,” the agency website states. Because of the air quality, the agency has expanded the “Stage 2 burn ban” to include King County. According to the website, during a Stage 2 burn ban:
* No burning is allowed in ANY wood-burning fireplaces, wood stoves or fireplace inserts (certified or uncertified) or pellet stoves, unless this is your only adequate source of heat. 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
* Even if your fireplace, pellet stove, or wood stove is your only adequate source of heat, no visible smoke is allowed.
* 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.
The use of gas and propane stoves and inserts are allowed during burn bans. (Thanks Kate for the tip!)