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Maricopa County asks community to use cleaner burning alternatives with new campaign

Maricopa County Air Quality Department
Posted at 12:26 PM, Dec 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-15 14:49:45-05

PHOENIX — The Maricopa County Air Quality Department (MCAQD) is asking for the community's help in using cleaner burning alternatives instead of wood while abiding by No Burn Days.

During the winter months, MCAQD says smoke from wood burning fireplaces, fire pits, and chimineas can be a serious health threat to children, the elderly, and those with respiratory issues or heart disease.

Those who engage in active, outdoor activities can be affected by unhealthy levels of smoke in the area, MCAQD said.

“Wood burning activities that occur during the winter months creates poor air quality and can endanger the health of our residents,” Maricopa County Air Quality Director Philip McNeely said. “The spirit of the season compels us to remember our neighbors and the impact that our actions have on others. Please, Burn Cleaner, Burn Better and abide by the No Burn Day restrictions.”

No Burn Days are issued when air quality forecasting shows air quality standards for smoke pollution can possibly be exceeded. Outdoor fires are also prohibited during these days.

Residents, visitors, and businesses are not allowed to use wood burning devices like fireplaces, fire pits, or chimineas on No Burn Days, MCAQD says.

It's simple for people to make a positive difference: on ‘No Burn Days’, don't burn wood and you will help keep air safe to breathe for all residents," said Board of Supervisors Chairman Clint Hickman, District 4. “I want to thank our partners in the government and non-profit community, private businesses, and residents for helping to keep our community healthy during this winter season.”

The air quality department offers the community an opportunity to be part of two programs to help keep our air clean and the community healthy.

The Fireplace Retrofit and the Propane Fire Pit programs by Maricopa County help reduce smoke pollution.

MCAQD says the programs provide no charge or discount options for modifying a wood burning fireplace with a natural gas log set or for purchasing propane fire pits.

You can find more information on MCAQD's new campaign and more resources by clicking here.