Friday, December 2, 2016

Tis the season for smoky air

Clear the air by following these tips, and there will be fewer burn bans

The weather is getting colder, which sets up ideal conditions for temperature inversions that trap air pollution close to the ground.

The source of this pollution? Smoke from woodstoves and emissions from highway traffic.

How can you make a difference? Follow a few tips to prevent pollution in the first place and obey burn bans when they are called.

In the summer, burning may be banned for fire protection, due to tinder dry conditions and the threat of wildfire. In the winter, smoke can stack up in our valleys for long periods of time, causing unhealthy air for us to breathe. The goal is to stay within state and federal ambient air quality requirements designed to protect people’s health.

By following these top practices year-round the air will clear and fewer burn bans will be called:
  • Make sure your fuel is well seasoned, low in moisture and stored undercover to keep dry
  • Never burn green, wet wood. Doing so is inefficient and creates smoke
  • Check your chimney 20 minutes after you start a fire. You should see only clear vapor heat waves and very LITTLE smoke.
  • Remember, breathing smoke is harmful, especially for the young, elderly and those with respiratory ailments. So protect yourself and your neighbors.
  • Check before lighting a fire in the home, shop, business or outdoors.
Burn bans are called in stages by local, state and federal agencies, depending on the jurisdiction.

During a Stage 1 burn ban -- NO use of uncertified wood stoves or fireplaces indoors and NO, outdoor burning, agricultural, and forest burning.

During a Stage 2 burn ban -- NO burning indoors or outdoors, unless wood is your sole home-heating source.

Consider upgrading. Check for incentive programs where you live. If you choose to burn, create small fires with lots of air… no damping down. We’ll all breathe easier.

Learn more and watch demonstration videos on this page:

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