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Burn ban extended for parts of Okanogan County

— Worsening air quality in Ellensburg has prompted the state Department of Ecology to upgrade to a Stage 2 burn ban in Kittitas County, while a Stage 1 burn ban remains in place in Okanogan County.

Air quality has been marginal in Okanogan County, the agency said.

Both bans will be in place at least through 10 a.m. Sunday.

“While winds might increase some on Saturday, the overall outlook is stagnant,” said atmospheric scientist Ranil Dhammapala. “We will revisit the forecast on Saturday evening.”

A Stage 2 ban applies to use of all certified and uncertified wood stoves, inserts, fireplaces, pellet stoves and other wood-burning devices unless they are a home’s only adequate source of heat. Stage 2 bans also prohibit all outdoor burning.

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.

The department’s burn bans do not apply on tribal reservations, where the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has jurisdiction.

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