KHQ.COM - Effective at Noon today, the Spokane Regional Clean Air Agency is lifting the air quality burn ban issued on fireplaces and non-certified wood stoves within the Spokane County Smoke Control Zone. Outdoor burning, such as recreational fires in Spokane County, can resume as normally allowed this time of year. Forest Management / silvicultural burning can resume if allowed by rule burn or by conditions in your permit. Burning barrels and burning for disposal purposes is never allowed.
The Stage I Burn Ban is being lifted because air quality has been good and ventilation is expected to improve considerably in the next 24 to 48 hours. The Air Stagnation Advisory issued by the National Weather Service is scheduled to end at noon tomorrow Tuesday, December 20th.
"We appreciate everyone's cooperation during this extended burn ban and encourage individuals to always check the current burn ban status before burning as conditions can change quickly this time of year," said Lisa Woodard, Public Information Officer for Spokane Clean Air. There are three ways to check: call the 24-hour Burning Info hotline at 477-4710, visit Spokane Clean Air's website or subscribe to the Burn Ban email notification using the link from the website.
"We expect some increase in particulate levels as burning resumes, and urge burners to follow rules to keep smoke impacts to a minimum, this includes never burning garbage or household paper waste," said Woodard. "Avoid the urge to burn holiday wrapping paper, packaging or the Christmas tree. Burning anything other than dry seasoned wood or manufactured pellets and logs is illegal, adds harmful compounds to the smoke, contributes to creosote build-up in your chimney and can cause damage to your wood burning device, " added Woodard.
For those who heat with wood, please remember these quick tips:
Excessive chimney smoke is prohibited at all times. You know you are burning properly when you see heat waves and no smoke-or just a wisp-coming from your chimney after a 20-minute start-up period.
The only legal fuel to burn is dry firewood (dried 6-12 months) or manufactured pellets and logs.
Have your chimney inspected and cleaned to avoid a house fire. This time of year is it common to hear about house fires caused by chimney fires or items left too close to the fire.
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