The Stage 1 burn ban for Kittitas County expired as scheduled at 10 a.m. today (Monday, Jan. 28, 2013).
Ecology issued the ban on Jan. 25. A Stage 1 ban prohibits use of uncertified wood-burning devices (including wood stoves, inserts and fireplaces) and all outdoor burning.
These activities may resume now. However, residents of areas where burn bans are called should think twice because smoke caused by burning easily builds up at this time of year, when stagnant air conditions can trap smoke close to the ground.
Fine particles in smoke are so small they can easily get into your lungs. Once there, they can cause heart and breathing problems, and even death. Children, people with asthma and respiratory illnesses, and adults older than 65 are most at risk.
By limiting or avoiding burning, local residents can help prevent air quality from deteriorating to the point that burn bans are needed. And by following restrictions when burn bans are called, they can help limit the time period the bans are in effect.