Poor air quality prompts burn ban

— The state has imposed a burn ban for Okanogan County.

The ban went on Monday and is expected to continue until at least 4 p.m. today, Wednesday. Stage 1 burn bans also are in effect for Chelan and Douglas counties, among others in Eastern Washington.

The state Department of Ecology said the bans are necessary since poor air quality and stagnant conditions are expected to continue for the next few days.

All outdoor burning – including residential, agricultural and forest burning – is prohibited. It applies to uncertified wood-burning devices, including wood stoves, inserts and fireplaces, unless they are the home’s only adequate source of heat.

Burn ban violators are subject to civil penalties.

Certified wood-burning devices and pellet stoves are allowed.

Ecology recommends burning hot fires using only clean, dry wood. No excessive smoke is allowed from any wood-burning device beyond a 20-minute start-up.

The burn ban does not apply to the Colville Indian Reservation. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has jurisdiction there.

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