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Air quality levels considered ‘unhealthy for everyone,’ Stage 1 burn ban still in effect

The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency says air quality is still at a level that is considered “unhealthy for everyone.” Levels are improving slightly in the South Puget Sound area, and much less smoke is expected by tomorrow afternoon.

The Agency continues to recommend that everyone take precautions by staying indoors when possible, limiting physical activity outdoors, and keeping home and car windows closed.

If you’re considering using a mask, the Agency says only N95 or N100 rated masks can protect you from some air pollution (medical masks or standard dust masks do not provide the necessary level of protection).

Because of the poor air quality, a Stage 1 air quality burn ban continues for King, Kitsap, Pierce and Snohomish Counties. (This is in addition to existing fire safety burn bans.)

No outdoor burning during a Stage 1 air quality burn ban including:

• No charcoal barbeques or similar solid fuel devices
• No campfires or bonfires
• No fire pits, chimineas, fire bowls, or similar free-standing devices
• No fireplaces, uncertified wood stoves, or uncertified inserts*
• No agricultural fires (as described in the agricultural burn permit)
• Local fire districts do not grant Native American ceremonial fire permits outside of tribal lands during air quality burn bans.

It is OK to use natural gas and propane grills, stoves, or inserts during a Stage 1 burn ban.