“Burn Cleaner, Burn Better” Winter Air Pollution Campaign Kicks Off
The Maricopa County Air Quality Department (MCAQD) has partnered with local businesses, community organizations, government agencies, and residents of Maricopa County to encourage the greater community to come together and help reduce air pollution by not burning wood on No Burn Days.
When air quality forecasting indicates that air quality standards for smoke pollution are likely to be exceeded, a No Burn Day is issued. During a No Burn Day, residents, visitors, and businesses are not allowed to use wood burning devices such as fireplaces, fire pits, or chimeneas in Maricopa County. Although most types of outdoor fires are prohibited, gas and electric devices are permitted on No Burn Days.
“The Burn Cleaner, Burn Better campaign is a reminder of how important access to clean air is to our everyday life and well-being. The county is proud to be working directly with cities, communities, industries, and residents to protect our air quality,” says Board of Supervisors Chairman Jack Sellers.
The Burn Cleaner, Burn Better (BCBB) campaign informs the public how smoke from wood burning fireplaces, fire pits, and chimeneas during the winter months poses a serious health threat to children, the elderly, and those with respiratory issues or heart disease. Fine 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.
“During the winter months we have seen an increase in hospitalizations related to respiratory illnesses,” says Arturo Gonzalez, MD, FAAP at Scottsdale Children’s Group. “This campaign is especially crucial for young children who have respiratory problems like asthma, bronchitis, or allergies as they can be triggered by the exposure of small smoke particles.”
Reducing smoke pollution in Maricopa County also helps reduce air pollution related illnesses, resulting in less money spent on medical care and less days missed from work and school. Maricopa County also benefits by maintaining compliance with federal health standards. This allows residents and businesses to avoid more burdensome and costly regulatory and enforcement programs which could cause an economic strain and/or inhibit the pursuit of various activities freely without a permit.
MCAQD offers two programs that help residents switch to cleaner-burning alternatives. 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 to eligible residents.
“Arizona’s our home,” says Bashas’ Director of Communications and Public Affairs Ashley Shick. “We work here, live here and breathe here, and we know our customers do, too. Because we share the air, we know it’s important to do our part to reduce air pollution so that families can breathe clean air for years to come.”
To learn more about the BCBB campaign and the programs offered to reduce air pollution, visit CleanAirMakeMore.com/noburn. To find out if it is a No Burn Day, visit CleanAirMakeMore.com, download the Clean Air Make More mobile app through the Apple Store or Google Play, or call 602-506-6400.