Benton County, in south central Washington, includes the cities of Kennewick, Richland, West Richland, Benton City and Prosser. The Columbia River makes up the county boundaries to the north, east and south. Benton County includes confluence of the Snake, Yakima and Columbia rivers, along with the Horse Heaven Hills and the lower Yakima Valley.
Nestled in the heart of Washington’s wine country, Benton County is home to five of Washington State’s eight American Viticulture Areas, the region produces 99 percent of the state’s wine and some of the finest wines in the world. An annual $3 billion industry, Washington State is the second largest wine producer in the nation.
The area is also known for its advances in science and technology, which have carried over to excellent educational opportunities in each of our local school districts, as well as opportunities in higher education.
The climate is semi-arid and the shrub-steppe ecology, along with the rivers, parks, and ridgelines, make Benton County a unique environment.
Benton Clean Air Agency works with citizens and industries to maintain and preserve the air quality and its contribution to public health and safety, and the enjoyment by all of our natural resources.
Air Stagnation Advisory -
When meteorological conditions warrant, the National Weather Service issues Air Stagnation Advisories. In our area, in the winter, these often result from inversions. During those times a mass of cold air is trapped at the surface and air qualtiy may reach unhealthy levels as a result of the stagnant air. Indivuduals who are senstive to air pollution should consider avoiding or reducing outdoor exertion. Sensitve groups include older adults, children, and those with heart and respiratory conditions.
During an advisory, please curtail your use of indoor wood heating devices (woodstoves and fireplaces) unless it is the only source of heat. If you do use a woodstove for heat, here is some information about burning efficiently and cleanly.
Statewide Air Monitoring Network - Ecology's monitors, the color codes indicate the air quality at each monitor
Washington Air Quality Advisory (WAQA) - Provides guidance based on the air quality advisory level
Washington Smoke Information - County, state, and federal agencies provide information for Washington communities affected by smoke from wildland fires
Understanding Burn Bans - A video that explains the different types of burn bans and why they are important