ORCAA

 

The Olympic Region Clean Air Agency (ORCAA) is a local government agency charged with regulatory and enforcement authority for air quality issues in Clallam, Grays Harbor, Jefferson, Mason, Pacific, and Thurston counties. ORCAA is one of seven such regional air pollution control agencies in Washington state.

December 2, 2020 09:00 am

Air Quality at risk from cold weather: Residents Asked to Reduce Burning

This week, our Western Washington weather turned cold, with mostly clear skies and little wind to clear the air. Cold nights and cy mornings tend to prompt more use of woodstoves and fireplaces. Unfortunately, in these conditions any smoke we put into the air around us, stays in the air around us. The result could be rising levels of air pollution.

In the interest of public health and safety, the Olympic Region Clean Air Agency (ORCAA) asks that all residents VOLUNTARILY CURTAIL all outdoor burning and to refrain from using wood stoves and fireplaces in all counties (Clallam, Grays Harbor, Jefferson, Mason, Pacific, and Thurston counties) unless absolutely necessary.

Burning wood creates smoke composed of fine and very fine particulate matter (PM2.5). These tiny particles are too small to be filtered by the nose and the body’s other natural defense mechanisms, so they may end up being inhaled deep into the lungs. That means that exposure to wood smoke may, at the very least, cause breathing problems and can increase – sometimes substantially increase – the severity of existing lung disease, such as asthma. Smoke also has been shown to aggravate heart and vascular disease.

ORCAA asks homeowners to use alternative means of disposal to clean up their yards. Chipping and composting are the best option, though other alternatives to burning are also available. You may find alternatives to Outdoor Burn here.
 

Also please keep in mind that burning trash is ILLEGAL at all times throughout Washington.

Fire and Smoke Map

The Fire and Smoke Map displays information on ground level air quality monitors recording fine particulates (PM2.5) from smoke and other sources, as well as information on fires, smoke plume locations, and special statements about smoke issued by various sources.

Current Air Quality (Olympia)

Current Burn Ban Status by County

Create a Clean Room to Protect Indoor Air Quality

Outdoor Burning News and Information

Outdoor burning is prohibited year-round for residents within the cities of Olympia, Tumwater, and Lacey, as well as for county residents within the Urban Growth Area (UGA) boundary. At this time, recreational fires are not affected by the seasonal curtailment. Recreational fires are fires used for entertainment or cooking purposes and are made of either charcoal or seasoned firewood. They can be no larger than 3-feet diameter. NOTE: Recreational fires are also permanently banned within the cities of Lacey, Olympia, and Tumwater.

 

The restrictions on outdoor burning during the summer and early autumn have resulted in a significant drop in brush fires and property damage each of the past couple years, according to fire officials.

 

Fortunately, safe and effective alternatives to burning exist. Residents have several options for disposing of their yard waste. Click here for yard waste disposal options.

Anyone with questions about residential, agricultural, or land-clearing burn permits should contact ORCAA, 

www.orcaa.org. Questions concerning silvicultural burns should be addressed to Washington DNR,

https://www.dnr.wa.gov/OutdoorBurning (DNR)

For more information on the outdoor burning rules throughout ORCAA’s jurisdiction, click here.

 

Thurston County Burn Information Links

Current Burn Ban Status by County

Burn Ban Information

Thurston County Burn Permit

Outdoor Burning Information & Permits

Beware of Fake Burn Permit Site​

Washington’s Air Quality and Covid-19

Fire, Smoke and Air Quality Links

Fire and Smoke Map 

The Fire and Smoke Map displays information on ground level air quality monitors recording fine particulates (PM2.5) from smoke and other sources, as well as information on fires, smoke plume locations, and special statements about smoke issued by various sources.

Current Air Quality (Olympia)

Create a Clean Room to Protect Indoor Air Quality

© 2019 South Bay Fire District 8

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