Tacoma skyline under a hazy layer of smoke

A view of downtown Tacoma from the top of Pacific Avenue on a warm and hazy day.
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A view of downtown Tacoma from the top of Pacific Avenue on a warm and hazy day.
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Even barbecues banned as smoke settles into region

August 02, 2017 04:38 PM

Diminished air quality prompted the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency to ban all outdoor burning in the region Wednesday.

The state 1 burn ban went into effect at 4 p.m. for Pierce, King, Snohomish and Kitsap counties because smoke from British Columbia wildfires has brought unhealthy levels of air pollution.

All of the state Department of Ecology air quality monitoring sites in Pierce County were reporting unhealthy levels of air pollution Wednesday afternoon.

Air Quality Burn Ban issued for King, Kitsap, Pierce & Snohomish counties from 4pm until further notice. #wildfireshttps://t.co/AJxr1bma33 pic.twitter.com/iLWIz2cS4W

— PS Clean Air Agency (@pscleanair) August 2, 2017

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The wind pattern is expected to continue through at least Friday, the agency says.

“The purpose of the burn ban is to reduce any additional harm to sensitive populations from excess air pollution and is in addition to existing fire safety burn bans,” the agency wrote in a statement.

The ban includes charcoal barbecues, firepits and campfires, as well as field-burning and Native American ceremonial fires outside of tribal lands.

Not that anyone is going to be doing this during this week’s stretch of record-breaking heat, but fires in fireplaces and woodstoves are also prohibited.

Anyone sensitive to air pollution should stay inside, the agency says, especially when exercising.

Kenny Ocker: 253-597-8627, @KennyOcker