AIR QUALITY

Seasonal Wood Burning Restrictions Begin Nov. 1

Oct 27, 2020, 10:30 AM | Updated: 10:36 am
FILE: Salt Lake City inversion on Dec. 3, 2019...
FILE: Salt Lake City inversion on Dec. 3, 2019

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Wood burning restrictions will begin Nov. 1, according to a statement from the Utah Department of Environmental Quality.

The Department of Air Quality will issue action alerts and health guidance each day during winter.

The action alerts will notify the public of actions needed to combat current pollution levels, according to the DAQ. Those alerts will be Unrestricted Action, Voluntary Action and Mandatory Action.

Under the Unrestricted Action, which is indicated with a ⚫  symbol, “Wood and coal burning stoves or fireplaces may be used, but please use them in a proper manner to reduce smoke emissions.”

The Voluntary Action, indicated by the ▼symbol, means residents “voluntarily do not use wood and coal-burning stoves or fireplaces,” according to the DAQ. “Reduce vehicle use by consolidating trips. Industry should optimize operating conditions to minimize air pollution emissions.”

Under the Mandatory Action, indicated by the 𝗫 symbol, “wood and coal-burning stoves or fireplaces must not be used,” according to the statement. Under this action, industry is also asked to optimize operating conditions to minimize air pollution emissions.

In addition to the action alerts, the DAQ will also issue health guidance to help determine how the highest pollution level of the day will affect human health. The health ratings are green, yellow, orange and red, and they are based on how much PM2.5 pollution is in the air that day.

When the mandatory restrictions are in place, burning solid fuels could result in penalties up to $299 per day.

“Although 2020 has been a year full of the unexpected, Utah’s weather and geography hasn’t changed,” said Bryce Bird, director of DAQ. “The coming months will have plenty of calm winds, cold temperatures and long nights. These are the conditions that set up thermal inversions in Utah’s valleys. By observing wood burning restrictions, Utah residents can improve our air quality and protect the health of their neighbors and loved ones.”

For more information on the action alerts, go to air.utah.gov. The state will also be providing Utah residents with air quality forecasting through the UtahAir app on the App Store and Google Play, and through a toll free message by calling 1-800-228-5434.

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Seasonal Wood Burning Restrictions Begin Nov. 1