KENDALL – The Northwest Clean Air Agency is asking people to voluntarily limit burning wood in the Columbia Valley urban growth area in the Kendall area of Whatcom County.
Cold, stagnant air is keeping fine smoke particles caused by wood burning from clearing out, which impacts air quality. Conditions are not expected to change for the next few days. NWCAA is not calling for a burn ban at this time.
Burning wood for home heating – especially when it’s not done correctly – can produce smoke pollution that’s harmful to you, your family and your neighbors.
Fine particles in smoke are harmful because they can be inhaled deeply into lungs and damage delicate tissues.
Smoke pollution can trigger asthma attacks, cause difficulty breathing, and make lung and heart problems worse. Elevated levels of smoke can be especially harmful to children, people with heart and lung problems, and adults age 65 and older.
Air quality is expected to improve throughout the day. But smoke levels will build as temperatures drop and more people light fires to heat homes.
If you must burn for heat, burn small, hot fires. Check your chimney 20 minutes after lighting a fire to ensure that it is not smoking, and if it is, take action. Do not let fires smolder overnight.
- Local air quality information: Northwest Clean Air Agency.
- Statewide air quality monitoring: Washington Department of Ecology.
The Northwest Clean Air Agency is responsible for enforcing federal, state and local air quality regulations in Island, Skagit, and Whatcom counties. In addition to permitting and regulating industrial sources of air pollution, the agency provides services and information related to asbestos, indoor air quality, outdoor burning, wood stoves, and fireplaces. More information about the agency is available at www.nwcleanairwa.gov.