Pierce County residents are being asked to not use wood-burning fireplaces or outdoor fire pits while an ongoing burn ban is in place.

The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency announced a stage one burn ban on Sunday, Jan. 13, and then announced a stage 2 ban on Tuesday, Jan. 15 until further notice while stagnant weather conditions create unhealthy air conditions.

Eatonville, Roy and Ashford residents are not included in the burn ban.

Over Saturday night and Sunday morning, cool temperatures and stagnant winds in Pierce County pushed pollution levels up, creating an unhealthy environment for sensitive groups, according to the agency's news release. Experts expect the weather pattern to continue for the next two days, but rain should return by Wednesday or Thursday.

"The purpose of a burn ban is to reduce the amount of pollution that is creating unhealthy air usually due to excessive wood smoke," the news release stated. "The Clean Air Agency will continue to closely monitor the situation."

The only exception to the burn ban are homeowners who have a previously approved “No Other Adequate Source of Heat” designation from the Clean Air Agency.

 The Washington State Department of Health recommends people who are sensitive to air pollution limit their time spent outdoors, especially when exercising. Air pollution can trigger asthma attacks, cause difficulty breathing and make lung and heart problems worse. Air pollution is especially harmful to people with lung and heart problems, people with diabetes, children and older adults (over age 65).

Visit pscleanair.org/burnban to view the current burn ban status.