Burn ban lifted in Okanogan, Ferry counties

— A Stage 1 burn ban in Okanogan and Ferry counties will expire at 4 p.m. today, according to the state Department of Ecology.

The ban has been in effect since Christmas Eve. It also included Kittitas, Chelan, Douglas, Stevens, Pend Oreille, Asotin and Walla Walla counties.

Stage 1 bans prohibit use of uncertified wood-burning devices (including wood stoves, inserts and fireplaces) and all outdoor burning unless they are a home’s only adequate source of heat.

By limiting burning and following restrictions when burn bans are called, residents can help improve air quality, the agency said.

Fine particles in smoke can cause heart and breathing problems. Children, people with asthma and respiratory illnesses and adults older than 65 are most at risk.

The burn bans do not apply on tribal reservations, where the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has jurisdiction.

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State Department of Fish and Wildlife Sgt. Dan Christensen recorded this video of the release of a mama bear and her three cubs Friday, Sept. 11, 2015. The bears were captured in a tree at Esther Bricques Winery near Ellisforde. The original video was much longer. We've edited out several minutes of footage between the cubs leaving the first trap and the mama and cub leaving the second trap. Enlarge

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