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Unhealthy Air Quality Triggers Wood Burning Advisory

South Coast Air Quality Management District predicts air will be "unhealthy for sensitive groups" Wednesday.

Tomorrow, breathing gets a little more difficult.

Northern and Central Orange County will see low air quality Wednesday, according to the South Coast Air Quality Management District.

Tuesday air quality received a  "moderate" rating, but Wednesday is predicted to be "unhealthy for sensitive groups."

In keeping with the forecast, the district is also asking people not to burn any wood Wednesday.

In an advisory released Tuesday, The district urged residents to not use woodburning fireplaces or stoves because of the low level of air quality.

The advisory is part of a district -- Rule 445 -- that requires mandatory wood burning restrictions when particle pollution is high in the months of November, December, January and February.

This rule only applies to residences at elevations below 3000 feet. 

Homes where wood burning is the sole source of heat or where no natural gas service is available are exempt.

For further information on the rule and alternatives to wood burning, the district asks residents to visit http://healthyhearths.org

Homer January 09, 2013 at 01:19 AM
I may be missing something here, but I don't think you presented the subject accurately. The advisory is intended to alert residents to the possibility that they may be included in a "no burn" area. You may want to read the information directly from the AQMD at: http://www.aqmd.gov/news1/2013/noburnalertforjanuary9.htm "Residents can enter their ZIP code at www.aqmd.gov after midnight tonight to see if they live in an affected area. They can also sign up for daily reports on air quality and Check Before You Burn alerts at www.airalerts.org."
Green Grass January 09, 2013 at 05:27 AM
Go to the healthyhearths.org link above and you'll see the dangers of wood smoke is not just when pollution is high. So, next time you or your neighbor want a pretty wood fire in the fireplace, remember they are creating a hazard for themselves and everyone else around them! There should be much stricter guidelines in ALL of OC regarding wood burning, including unincorporated areas like Coto da Caza. No neighbor has the right to pollute your lungs or those of your family! There are documented, proven health hazards to doing so! With or without pollution!! Take note OC and save your family from this health hazard. Fight for your rights and the rights of your children and make change happen! I called on this very same issue about 7-8 years ago in Coto de Caza and no one took it seriously, yet other states had guidelines on burning wood due to the hazards. Common sense folks; we don't all live on ten acres; your neighbors are being affected by your smoke!!
Green Grass January 09, 2013 at 05:27 AM
Go to the healthyhearths.org link above and you'll see the dangers of wood smoke is not just when pollution is high. So, next time you or your neighbor want a pretty wood fire in the fireplace, remember they are creating a hazard for themselves and everyone else around them! There should be much stricter guidelines in ALL of OC regarding wood burning, including unincorporated areas like Coto da Caza. No neighbor has the right to pollute your lungs or those of your family! There are documented, proven health hazards to doing so! With or without pollution!! Take note OC and save your family from this health hazard. Fight for your rights and the rights of your children and make change happen! I called on this very same issue about 7-8 years ago in Coto de Caza and no one took it seriously, yet other states had guidelines on burning wood due to the hazards. Common sense folks; we don't all live on ten acres; your neighbors are being affected by your smoke!!
John Crandall January 09, 2013 at 05:42 AM
Hey Homer, Here's the alert we received about the wood burning advisory. A(n) Advisory for Residential Wood Burning has been declared for Central Orange-2, CA, on Wednesday, Jan 9 The South Coast Air Quality Management District has declared a Residential Wood Burning Advisory in your area. This means that curtailment of the use of woodburning fireplaces and stoves is required in your area due to fine particulate levels predicted to be in the Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups range, or higher. When a residential wood burning advisory is issued for your area, please refrain from burning wood throughout the entire day. This program is being implemented under AQMD Rule 445 that requires mandatory wood burning restrictions when particle pollution is high in the months of November, December, January and February. Burn restrictions are expected to be infrequent during these months. This rule only applies to residences in the South Coast Air Basin at elevations below 3000 feet. Exemptions to Rule 445 are provided for homes where wood burning is the sole source of heat or where no natural gas service is available. For further information on Rule 445 and alternatives to wood burning, please see http://healthyhearths.org
Green Grass January 09, 2013 at 06:02 AM
Note FACTS from the quiz at healthyhearths.org. 1.Wood smoke contains hundreds of harmful compounds in addition to those listed above, including sulfur dioxide and formaldehyde, as well as chemicals known or suspected to be carcinogens such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). 2.Residential wood burning contributes more fine particle pollution (or PM2.5) to Southern California's air than all the power plants in Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino and Riverside counties combined. Wood-burning PM2.5 emissions total six tons per day–more than four times the amount of PM2.5 released by all the power plants in four major Southern California counties! 3.The lack of wind and colder temperatures during winter allow smoke and air pollutants to remain stagnant at ground level for long periods of time, leading to an increased risk of exposure to wood smoke’s harmful pollutants. Also, because we burn more wood during the cold winter months, the amount of PM2.5 increases from six tons per day to more than 10 tons per day. 4.The South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) is offering a $125 incentive for Southern California residents who make the switch from wood-burning fireplaces to gas-log sets. As part of the Healthy Hearths initiative, Southern California residents looking to “green” their fireplaces by switching to gas are eligible for a monetary incentive. Gas-log sets burn clean and are a safe and environmentally-friendly alternative to wood burning.
MFriedrich January 09, 2013 at 06:23 AM
Interesting. I've used my fireplace only once thus far this winter.

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