Air pollution continues to raise health concerns in Clark County today, but conditions are expected to improve Tuesday.
The National Weather Service issued an air stagnation advisory at 8:30 a.m. today for Clark County and other parts of the Portland-Vancouver area below 1,500 feet that will remain in effect until noon Tuesday.
The service says prolonged periods of stagnant air can hold pollutants close to the ground where people live and breathe and may cause health issues for residents with respiratory diseases or ailments. People should follow their doctor’s advice for dealing with high levels of air pollution during periods of stagnant air.
Meanwhile, the Southwest Clean Air Agency has lifted a burn ban that had been in place since Wednesday because of improved air quality and a forecast calling for an end to air stagnation conditions.
Residents once again can use wood stoves and fireplaces but are asked to burn as cleanly as possible. The burn ban did not affect residents who rely on wood as their only source of heat.
Southwest Clean Air Agency says it’s always illegal to produce excess chimney smoke and “to smoke out your neighbor.”
“We ask that if people must burn, that they use only dry, seasoned firewood and follow clean burning practices,” the agency said in a news release. “ You are burning properly when you do not see any smoke coming from your chimney.”
In areas of Clark and Skamania counties where outdoor burning has not been permanently banned, burning will again be allowed with the proper permits.
“Burning at any time adds to the air pollution levels in your local community, and residents are encouraged to seek alternatives to burning throughout the year,” the clean air agency said in its news release. “Only natural vegetation may be burned, and a smoke nuisance may not be caused.
“Burn permits require residents to call the burn line prior to burning to ensure that a burn ban is not in effect. State law prohibits the burning of garbage, plastics, home-repair debris and other prohibited materials at any time. Burn barrels of any kind are also prohibited by state law.”
For more information about cleaner wood burning techniques or to subscribe to email notifications of burn bans and advisories visit the Southwest Clean Air Agency’s website, www.swcleanair.org/burning.