A news blog for Seattle's Phinney Ridge and Greenwood neighborhoods


Puget Sound Clean Air Agency says air is ‘Moderate to Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups’

September 6th, 2017 by Doree

The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency this afternoon said air quality in King, Snohomish, Pierce and Kitsap counties is at a level that is “moderate to unhealthy for sensitive groups” due to all the wildfires.

Those groups include:

  • Adults older than 65
  • Pregnant women
  • Infants and children
  • People with heart or lung disease, such as asthma or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
  • People with diabetes.
  • People who have had a stroke.

Check out the graphic on the PSCAA website to see which activity levels are recommended for sensitive or healthy groups. For instance, the graphic currently shows any outdoor activities, even walking, as not recommended for sensitive groups, but okay for healthy adults.

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UPDATE: BURN BAN LIFTED — Stage 1 Burn Ban in effect

December 1st, 2014 by Doree

Update: The Burn Ban has been lifted as of 12 p.m. Tuesday.

Earlier: The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency has issued a Stage 1 Burn Ban for King, Snohomish and Pierce counties due to stagnant weather conditions and rising air pollution.

During a Stage 1 burn ban:

No burning is allowed in wood-burning fireplaces, uncertified wood stoves or fireplace inserts. 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.

The only exception is if the homeowner has a previously approved ‘No Other Adequate Source of Heat’ designation from the Clean Air Agency.

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.

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

The Washington State Department of Health recommends that people who are sensitive to air pollution limit time spent outdoors, especially when exercising. Air pollution can trigger asthma attacks, cause difficulty breathing, and make lung and heart problems worse. Air pollution is especially harmful to people with lung and heart problems, people with diabetes, children, and older adults (over age 65).

Seattle Parks and Recreation also is reminding everyone that a burn ban means no beach fires are allowed at Golden Gardens or Alki.

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