SEATTLE, Wash. -

Officials are continuing a burn ban for nine counties in eastern Washington.

The Washington Department of Ecology said Thursday a Stage 1 burn ban will continue until Monday afternoon for Kittitas, Chelan, Douglas, Okanogan, Ferry, Stevens, Pend Oreille, Asotin and Walla Walla counties. The burn ban restrictions are designed to help improve air quality sooner, and officials say smoke dispersion is expected to remain poor through the weekend.

The burn ban prohibits uncertified wood-burning devices including fireplaces and wood stoves unless they are a home's only adequate source of heat. All outdoor burning is also prohibited.