A burn ban for Walla Walla, Columbia, Garfield and Asotin counties is in effect this weekend, pending further notice.

The Washington Department of Ecology announced the Stage 1 ban Friday due to poor air quality. It applies to the use of uncertified stoves and fireplaces — unless they're a home's only heat source — as well as outdoor burning.

For more information and updates, visit www.ecology.wa.gov/burnbans.

Emily Thornton covers courts and emergency services, as well as other various stories. She has been in the newspaper industry off and on since roughly 1999 and lived primarily on the West Coast, but also Florida and Europe.