Wood Burning Restrictions

November 7, 2008 7:15:13 PM PST
Poor air quality has moved the valley air pollution control district to issue its first fireplace ban of the year.On cold nights its nice to warm up to a crackling fire but fireplace ban includes not just solid wood?but wood pellets and manufactured fire logs as well.

To keep the valley's bad air from worsening ... the pollution control district says people should get used to an increase in the number of days when you can't use your fireplace. We had 15 no-burn days last year. That number could triple this year.

Jamie Holt from the Air Pollution Control Dist. said, "We want to get people to understand there is a direct health consequence from using their wood-burning stove or fireplace and this year that includes your outdoor chimneys and your outdoor firepits."

Last year inspectors wrote up 88 citations for people caught burning on "No-Burn" days. The chimney smoke was a dead giveaway.

Dianne Cloyd owns Ponderosa Hearth and Home. Many customers have had their open fireplaces replaced by gas or pellet stoves. But Cloyd believes some people will ignore the no-burn days and take their chances.

Dianne Cloyd said, "I think they still come upon a few more people but I still think the majority of the people that are gonna write citations to are gonna be turned in by their neighbors."

Cloyd doesn't think wood pellets should be included in the ban because they burn cleaner than solid wood.

"They feel like they've met the responsibility by buying a stove that meets EPA standards that they've reduced their carbon footprint if you want to say that. They reduced that, they're gonna burn."

But Jamie Holt says including wood pellets in the ban was the right decision.

"They are dirtier than not burning at all. They're dirtier than a gas device and we have such a low tolerance for air pollution in our valley."

There are two exemptions to the wood-burning rule. You can burn if your residence does not have access to natural gas service. You can also use your fireplace if burning solid wood is the only source of heat for the home.

If you get caught burning wood in your fireplace ... you could face a $50.00 fine.

You can always call the Air Pollution Control District at 230-600 to see if you can use your fireplace.

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