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Firefighter directs a hose on an outside fire between Bay and Grandview Roads, east of Blaine Road (July 14, 2017). Photo: Whatcom News

Air quality burn ban lifted – fire danger burn bans remain

Northwest Clean Air Agency (NWCAA) announced today they have ended an air quality burn ban for Island, Skagit and Whatcom Counties due to improved air quality measurements.

According to readings from the NWCAA air quality monitoring station on Loomis Trail Road in north Custer, air quality has stayed within the “GOOD” and “MODERATE” ranges on the WAQA scale since 7am yesterday, Sunday, August 26th (see graph below).

air quality reading from loomis trail rd station as of 2018-08-27 1300
Air quality history graph reported at 1pm by the NW Clean Air Agency monitoring station on Loomis Trail Road in north Custer (August 27, 2018).

“We’re lifting the air quality burn ban because levels of fine particles from wildfire smoke are dropping throughout the region,” said NWCAA Executive Director Mark Buford.

NWCAA officials will continue to assess air quality while wildfires in British Columbia, eastern Washington and other areas continue to produce smoke that can reach local communities.


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Fire danger burn bans initiated by the Whatcom County Fire Marshal’s Office, Department of Natural Resource and fire districts around the county remain in place as the conditions for high fire risk remain.

Under the current fire danger burn bans, all land clearing and yard debris fires are prohibited. But recreational fires are allowed in designated campgrounds and on improved properties with the landowner’s permission. Recreational fires are fires that are less than 3 feet in diameter, burning only seasoned firewood or charcoal and are built in an approved fire enclosure.

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