Outdoor burning restrictions are in effect throughout Spokane County until further notice, with limits on fireplace use also in place for many areas, the Spokane Regional Clean Air Agency issued Tuesday.
Outdoor burning of any kind is prohibited in the county, per the ban.
The use of fireplaces, wood stoves not certified by the EPA, or inserts and other noncertified wood-burning devices is prohibited in the Spokane County Smoke Control Zone. A smaller area within the county, the control zone encompasses the city of Spokane, Spokane Valley, Liberty Lake and Newman Lake. Hallet and Gibbs Road are the boundaries to the north, Hayford and Cedar Road to the west, Owens Road to the north, and the Idaho border to the east.
The ban does not apply to the use of EPA-certified wood stoves, pellet stoves and other wood-burning devices certified by the EPA. Residents using wood as their sole source of heat should contact Spokane Clean Air, the agency said.
The agency said wood smoke contains carcinogenic particles that have recently deteriorated air quality, prompting the ban.
“Due to the air stagnation, smoke is building up in our neighborhoods on these cold, clear and calm days and nights,” wrote Scott K. Windsor, executive director of Spokane Clean Air. “The stagnant conditions are expected to improve on Thursday.”