Bremerton - A Stage 2 burn ban remains in effect for Kitsap County, despite Saturday's rains, according to Mike Gilroy, staff meteorologist for the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency.
The air remains stagnant over Kitsap County primarily because of a lack of wind, Gilroy said. If the ban were to be lifted, pollution levels would rise unless atmospheric conditions changed.
A new weather system was expected overnight, so the burn ban may be lifted today, he said.
Gilroy said officials with the Clean Air Agency have been surprised at the higher pollution levels in Kitsap County the past two winters and especially this winter. There appears to be considerably more burning in woodstoves and fireplaces in Kitsap County, he said, and that contributes to localized air pollution violations. Not all areas of the county are equally affected, however.
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The Stage 2 burn ban ban covers wood-burning fireplaces, wood stoves, fireplace inserts and pellet stoves unless they are a home’s only source of adequate heat. Even if a fireplace is a home’s only adequate source of heat, no visible smoke is allowed.
The Stage 2 burn ban also covers outdoor fires, including bonfires, campfires and fire pits. Violations are punishable by a $1,000 fine.
A Stage 1 burn ban remains in effect for Snohomish County.