Washington State asking residents not to burn outdoors - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Washington State asking residents not to burn outdoors

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OLYMPIA, Wash. - Because of poor air quality conditions throughout Washington, the state Department of Ecology is asking residents to voluntarily refrain from outdoor burning and unnecessary use of wood stoves and fireplaces through the weekend.

Air quality across much of the state has deteriorated over the past 24 hours. Fog and clouds already are covering most of the state; most areas will continue to experience poor air dispersal conditions through the weekend.

"There is some expected improvement Saturday afternoon and again Sunday afternoon as winds pick up through the Columbia River Gorge and the central basin of Eastern Washington," said Ecology meteorologist Clint Bowman.

However, the valleys of Eastern Washington will not likely see much improvement in air quality either day. For Sunday night into Monday morning, conditions also are expected to be poor and particle concentrations in the air are expected to rise.

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

Ecology also recommends that people limit vehicle trips, combine errands or use public transportation. If burning wood is the only source of heat, people should burn hot fires using dry wood to lessen smoke.

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