BAINBRIDGE ISLAND — Barbecuers, rejoice: Shifting winds have blown away a countywide air quality burn ban.
Officials with the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency said that due to shifting winds at the surface level, the region’s air quality has returned to “good” and “moderate” levels. Improved air conditions led the agency to remove the burn ban for Kitsap, King, Pierce and Snohomish counties late Aug. 5.
The weather pattern and the associated air quality improvements are expected to continue into next week.
While there are no longer any air quality burn bans in effect for Kitsap, King, Pierce and Snohomish counties as of Saturday, there are still fire safety burn bans in effect.
On Bainbridge Island, the Bainbridge Island Fire Department notes that recreational fires (those less than three feet in diameter and at least 25 feet from buildings and combustibles) are currently allowed, as well as fires in outdoor fireplaces and campfires in approved locations in campgrounds.
Elsewhere in Washington, wildfires near Darrington have raised pollution levels to near unhealthy levels for sensitive groups. Ozone levels in the cascade foothills have been elevated and may reach unhealthy levels as well in the afternoon for the next several days.
Officials expect some residual smoke and haze to remain at higher altitudes for some time, and said it’s possible that there will be a few localized pollution spikes as a result.
Visit www.pscleanair.org/burnban to view the current burn ban status.