Almost time for wood stoves and fireplaces

Almost time for wood stoves and fireplaces
FreeImages.com/Robert Horvath
Keep the fireplace damper closed -- Heat rises, and an open damper is like a hole in the roof. Also, limit your use of the fireplace, since fires actually suck heat from a room.

With frosty morning and chilly nights, it won’t be long before wisps of smoke begin to rise from Spokane chimneys.

The Washington Department of Ecology is asking people to learn about temperature inversions, air quality burn bans, and how to get the most out of their fires before winter time heating hits.

According to the Department of Ecology, during the winter months, a weather pattern called an inversion can trap stagnant air and unhealthy wood smoke close to the ground.

If air quality reaches unhealthy levels, an air quality burn ban may be called by a local clean air agency, Ecology, or tribes.

Air quality burn bans have two stages:

Stage 1 burn ban

— No use of uncertified wood stoves or fireplaces is allowed.

— No outdoor burning, agricultural, or forest burning is allowed.

Stage 2 burn ban

–No burning indoors or outdoors is allowed.

Air quality burn bans do not apply if wood is your only source of heat.

To check for an air quality burn ban in your area click here or here.