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Smoky sky stock photo (August 2, 2017). Photo: My Ferndale News

Red flag warnings and air quality burn bans issued for at least Monday

Northwest Clean Air Agency (NWCAA) announced today that an air quality burn ban will go into effect at 8am Monday morning, August 20th in Whatcom, Island and Skagit Counties. In addition, the National Weather Service (NWS) Seattle office announced a red flag warning will be in effect from 5am to 6pm Monday.

NWCAA officials cited weather forecasts and current air pollution from small particles as the reason for the ban. “Right now, air quality is predicted to be worse than the national health-based standard for at least 24 hours,” the announcement stated.

The burn ban will remain in effect until further notice. Burn ban violators can face fines and other enforcement actions. “This air quality burn ban is separate from, and in addition to, fire safety burn bans already in effect because of increased fire danger in the three counties,” the announcement pointed out.

The announcement said no outdoor burning would be allowed, including residential and agricultural burning. Home heating with fireplaces and uncertified wood stoves would also be prohibited. This ban includes recreational fires like campfires and fire pits officials added.

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NWS officials cited moderate breezes and low humidity for the red flag warnings on the west side of the North Cascades, the upper Skagit Valley, western Whatcom County, the San Juan Islands and parts of the northwest Olympic Peninsula.

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