Burn ban continues in S.W. Washington

By Paul Suarez, Columbian web producer

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A Stage 1 burn ban remains in effect for Southwest Washington as cold, dry, stagnant air is expected to remain in the region through the weekend.

The burn ban, which was put in effect at 5 p.m. Monday, prohibits all outdoor burning and fires in fireplaces and uncertified wood stoves and inserts, most of which are older models. People who do not have any other form of heat are exempted.

The Southwest Washington Clean Air Agency extended the ban Thursday morning after a conference call with weather forecasters.

“At the moment this (the weather) looks better, but we don’t expect to stay that way at the end of the day,” said Bob Elliot, executive director of the agency.

The area is at risk of high fine-particle pollution, which poses medical risks to those with heart or respiratory ailments, including asthma.