Maricopa County Air Quality Department issues burn ban for New Year's Eve and New Year's Day

Posted at 1:34 PM, Dec 30, 2016

Those hoping to welcome the start of 2017 with a fire won't have as many options in Maricopa County.

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality on Friday issued a high pollution advisory for New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. Air quality officials said fine particulate matter was expected to exceed federal health standards.

The anticipated high pollution levels led the Maricopa County Air Quality Department to declare Saturday and Sunday as no-burn days.

Under the ban, indoor and outdoor wood burning in residential fireplaces, chimneys, outdoor fire pits, and similar venues is prohibited. Using leaf blowers on government property and off-road vehicles are also restricted, according to a news release from ADEQ.

Those with heart or lung diseases, older adults and children are most likely to be affected by high levels of particle pollution. Fine particulates, defined as matter 2.5 microns or less in size, can travel deep into the respiratory tract, reaching the lungs and can cause irritation of the eye, nose, throat, and lungs. Coughing, sneezing, runny nose and shortness of breath are also possible, officials said.