PHOENIX (December 15, 2020) – The Maricopa County Air Quality Department (MCAQD) is asking County residents, visitors, and businesses to use cleaner burning alternatives instead of wood and to always abide by No Burn Days.
Smoke from wood burning fireplaces, fire pits, and chimineas during the winter months poses a serious health threat to children, the elderly and those with respiratory issues or heart disease. Soot particles can be absorbed into the blood stream and may lessen lung function, exacerbate bronchitis and asthma, and increase chances for heart attacks and premature death. People who engage in active, outdoor activities may also be negatively impacted by unhealthy levels of smoke in the air.
“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.”
A No Burn Day is issued when air quality forecasting indicates that air quality standards for smoke pollution are likely to be exceeded and prohibits most types of outdoor fires. During a No Burn Day, residents, visitors, and businesses are not allowed to use wood burning devices such as fireplaces, fire pits, or chimineas. However, gas and electric devices are permitted on No Burn Days.
“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.”
MCAQD offers residents the opportunity to participate in two programs that will help keep our air clean and our community healthy. The Maricopa County Fireplace Retrofit and the Propane Fire Pit programs are designed to reduce smoke pollution. The programs offer no charge or discount options for retrofitting a wood burning fireplace with a natural gas log set or for purchasing propane fire pits.
In partnership with the Arizona Propane Gas Association and the Arizona Propane Education & Research Foundation for the fourth year, the Propane Fire Pit Program provides 1,000 Maricopa County residents a $75 voucher toward the purchase of an outdoor propane fire pit at participating Home Depot stores. “The Arizona Propane Gas Association is committed to improving Arizona’s environment which is why we are thrilled to once again partner with Maricopa County in the Propane Fire Pit Program. The amount of particulate matter that is demonstrably eliminated as a result of this program is astounding. This program is being hailed by the propane industry nationally as a model for others to follow in our efforts to promote clean energy by using propane as an affordable alternative fuel source”, said Dave Barrett, President of the Arizona Propane Gas Association.
To find out if it is a No Burn Day, visit CleanAirMakeMore.com, download the Clean Air Make More mobile app, or call 602-506-6400. To sign up for the Maricopa County Fireplace Retrofit Program, visit CleanAirMakeMore.com/fireplace-retrofit-program. To participate in the Propane Fire Pit Program, visit CleanAirMakeMore.com/firepit.
The mission of the Maricopa County Air Quality Department is to improve the air of Maricopa County so customers, residents and visitors can live, work, and play in a healthy environment. The department is governed by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors and follows air quality standards set forth by the federal Clean Air Act.
The department offers air quality information and resources on its Clean Air Make More website. Visit CleanAirMakeMore.com to learn more.
CONTACT: Maria Bonilla – 602-506-7856 desk / 602- 396-0527 cell
Burn Cleaner, Burn Better Campaign Website: CleanAirMakeMore.com/noburn
Learn more and support the Burn Cleaner, Burn Better campaign via social media:
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