Stagnant air prompts burn ban

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WALLA WALLA -- A countywide burn ban is in effect today due to stagnant air conditions.

According to the state Department of Ecology, the ban will continue until at least 10 a.m. Monday. At that time it will either be canceled or extended.

The ban prohibits all outside burning. It also prohibits use of uncertified wood-burning devices, including wood stoves, inserts and fireplaces, unless they are a home's only source of heat.

The prohibitions are intended to stop smoke from outdoor burning and wood-burning devices from building up where cold air is trapped near the ground.

Fine particles in the smoke can cause heart and breathing problems. Children, people with asthma and respiratory illnesses and adults older than 65 are most at risk, according to Ecology.

Burn bans are also in effect in Chelan, Douglas, Okanogan, Ferry and Stevens counties.

According to the National Weather Service, the stagnant air is forecast to remain in place through at least Monday afternoon.

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