Warm air and a shallow layer of fog in mountain valleys is trapping smoke and impairing air quality, prompting Stage 1 burn bans in Okanogan and Kittitas and counties that begin at 4 p.m. Tuesday (Feb. 9) and will extend until at least 10 a.m. Friday (Feb. 12), the Washington Department of Ecology (DOE) announced.

DOE said air quality is likely to remain mostly stagnant for several days. The ban could be extended beyond Friday.

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.

“We’re working to keep air quality from reaching unhealthy levels,” said Jay Carmony, DOE air quality specialist. “Moderate winds at times will improve air quality, but a generally stagnant pattern is expected for the remainder of the week.”

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 www.waburnbans.net.