Because the National Weather Service issued an air stagnation advisory last week, state officials say it is crucial for people to follow stage 2 burn ban procedures now in place in both the upper and lower Yakima county areas.
Households with alternate sources of heat are advised to discontinue all use of wood or pellet-fueled home heating devices until the burn ban is discontinued.
The air stagnation warning is being extended through this weekend to next Tuesday, due to a persistent high pressure system affecting central Washington.
Ventilation and dispersion is expected to remain poor as a result, with only brief, temporary periods of relief. For this reason, air pollutants from a variety of sources, but especially from wood smoke resulting from home heating activities, will continue to collect in the Yakima area air with little or no movement, causing air quality to continue to worsen.
The Yakima Regional Clean Air Agency will have enforcement personnel on patrols in the county during regular business hours and after hours, including weekends and holidays so long as the burn ban remains in effect. Enforcement patrol personnel are charged with ensuring maximum compliance during the stagnant air period.
The clean air agency is, however, monitoring air quality conditions regularly and will keep the public advised of any changes to the burn ban status.
Contact YRCAA at 509-834-2050 during normal business hours, or leave a message after hours with questions regarding wood-burning activity. All violations of the burn ban are subject to civil penalty.