The Southwest Clean Air Agency issued a stage two burn ban for Clark County on Thursday amid stagnant air conditions.
The ban is in effect until further notice, the agency said in a release.
The National Weather Service in Portland issued an air stagnation advisory for the county on Wednesday.
The advisory remains in effect until 4 p.m. Friday and includes the communities of Vancouver, Battle Ground, Ridgefield, Washougal, Yacolt and Amboy.
Diminished air quality is expected below 1,500 feet throughout the area, according to the weather service.
The poor conditions may cause issues for people with respiratory problems, officials said.
“Prolonged periods of stagnant air can hold pollutants close to the ground where people live and breathe,” the advisory says.
Unhealthy levels of fine particle pollution prompted the air agency to put in place the burn ban. Outdoor burning and the use of all wood-burning fireplaces, stoves and inserts is prohibited. If wood burning is your only source of heat, you are exempt from the ban. However, the air agency urged those users to “burn as clean as possible.”
“We are hopeful that calling this stage two burn ban will moderate ambient levels of fine particulate matter until a more active weather system moves in,” said Uri Papish, executive director for the agency. “We are not asking anyone to go without heat, but to use an alternative source of heat if possible until weather patterns change and our air quality returns to healthy levels.”