Nine county burn ban in effect through Friday

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WALLA WALLA — The state Department of Ecology has declared a burn ban in Walla Walla and eight other southeast Washington counties. The ban will remain in effect through Friday afternoon.

“A ridge of high pressure is expected to set up Christmas Day onward, leading to light winds and poor dispersion,” said atmospheric scientist Ranil Dhammapala, with Ecology’s air quality program. “Typically a lot more woodstoves and fireplaces are used during holiday festivities. Unfortunately, the weather isn’t helping to prevent smoke from pooling in these communities. So steps need to taken to reduce wood burning activities.”

All outdoor burning — including residential, agricultural and forest burning — is prohibited. Use of uncertified wood-burning devices, including fireplaces, wood stoves and inserts, is prohibited unless they are a home’s only adequate source of heat.

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