The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency announced a stage 1 burn ban across King, Kitsap, Pierce, and Snohomish Counties yesterday. Air pollution levels due to wildfire smoke across the Puget Sound have increased to “UNHEALTHY” for everyone, the agency reported.

The burn ban will be in effect until further notice and is an effort to reduce excess air pollution. The ban includes charcoal barbecues, campfires, bonfires, fire pits, fireplaces, and agricultural fires. Natural gas and propane grills are permitted.

Health issues caused by wildfire smoke include coughing, headaches, asthma attacks, chest pain, and trouble breathing.

A joint statement released by the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency, Kitsap Public Health District, Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, and other organizations encourages everyone, especially children, older adults, pregnant women, or those with prior heart and lung health concerns, to stay indoors when possible and limit physical activity outdoors. Drivers are advised to keep windows closed and when using air conditioning, make sure the air recirculates from inside the car. Schools and daycares are encouraged to postpone outdoor activities and keep children inside.

Check the current burn ban status at pscleanair.org/burnban.