Department of Ecology News Release - December 22, 2016

Stage 1 burn ban extended for Okanogan County
Wind patterns not enough to flush out pollution over weekend

YAKIMA – The Stage 1 burn ban in Okanogan County is being extended through noon, Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2016, because air quality is not expected to improve much, according to the Washington Department of Ecology. It had been due to expire at 4 p.m. Friday.

“Unfortunately, light winds won’t be enough to flush out pollution in valleys over the holiday weekend,” said Ranil Dhammapala, atmospheric scientist with Ecology. “We will see fluctuating readings between ‘moderate and unhealthy for sensitive groups’ through Tuesday.”

Under a Stage 1 ban, all outdoor burning is prohibited including residential, agricultural and forest burning. Use of uncertified wood stoves, fireplaces, inserts and other uncertified wood-burning devices is prohibited unless they are a home’s only adequate source of heat. Certified wood stoves, pellet stoves and other certified wood-burning devices are allowed.

Call 866-211-6284 if you think someone is illegally burning or you are impacted by smoke. Up-to-date burn ban information is available at

Ecology’s burn bans do not apply on tribal reservations, where the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has jurisdiction. Call 800-424-4372 for tribal burn ban information or visit EPA’s Washington Burn Ban page on their website.


Joye Redfield-Wilder,, 509 575-2610, @ecycentral