Tis the season; time to gather with family and friends around the fireplace to celebrate the holidays and the new year ahead. But Maricopa County residents may want to think twice before they throw a log on the fire.
When levels of particulate pollution are expected to reach unhealthy levels, the Maricopa County Air Quality Department issues a “No Burn Day” advisory. Restrictions last for a 24-hour period, starting at midnight, and include a ban on woodburning activity in fireplaces, fire pits and open outdoor fires. Aside from taking a chance on getting a fine for up to $250.00, the purpose of the No Burn Day restriction is to avoid adding pollution to our air when the forecast suggests air quality will approach or exceed the federal health standard.
Use this helpful guide to find out if today is a No Burn Day:
ü Log on to www.CleanAirMakeMore.com. The home page will show you if any restrictions are in place at the top of the page.
ü Sign up to receive email alerts or text messages when a No Burn Day is issued. Visit www.CleanAirMakeMore.com and click “Make the Clean Air Commitment.”
ü Download the free Clean Air Make More application for iPhone, iPad and Android to get real-time air quality information and alerts.
ü Not by a computer? Call the Maricopa County Burn Line at (602) 506-6400 for a recorded message in English and Spanish or watch your local weather forecast for updates.
Once you’re aware of the forecast, do your part to avoid adding to the pollution in our air. By taking small, simple steps every day, we can all make a difference.
- Do not use woodburning fireplaces, woodstoves or outdoor firepits on a No Burn Day
- Use a rake or broom instead of using a leaf blower
- Drive slowly or not at all on unpaved roads and vacant lots
- Learn more about air pollution at www.CleanAirMakeMore.com
It is up to each and every person living within Maricopa County to take responsibility to adhere to these restrictions when in effect but if you think someone is in violation of these restrictions, you may report an air quality problem or polluter at any time by calling the Maricopa County Air Quality Department at (602) 372-2703, submitting a report through our Clean Air Make More mobile app, or filing online at www.maricopa.gov/aq under the Contact Us/Report a Violation tab.
PARTICULATE MATTER BACKGROUND: State and county agencies measure PM-10 and PM-2.5 which are extremely small solid particles and liquid droplets found circulating in the air. PM, or particulate matter, comes from either combustion (cars, industry, woodburning) or dust stirred up into the air. High levels of PM are typically created when the air is especially stagnant or especially windy.
PM-10 stands for particulate matter measuring 10 microns or less. PM-2.5 stands for particulate matter measuring 2.5 microns or less. To put this in perspective, one strand of human hair is 70-100 microns in size.
The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality [ADEQ] provides a daily forecast for air quality. When conditions exist, ADEQ will issue high pollution advisories or health watches. Please visit www.azdeq.gov/environ/air/ozone/ensemble.pdf or call (602) 771-2367. To receive the air quality forecast via email and/or text message please visit www.azdeq.gov/subscribe.html
CONTACT: Mark Shaffer – (602) 771-2215 desk / (480) 433-9551 cell
The Maricopa County Air Quality Department is a regulatory agency whose goal is to ensure federal clean air standards are achieved and maintained for the residents and visitors of Maricopa County. 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. Please visit www.CleanAirMakeMore.com to learn more.
CONTACT: Lucette Gonzalez – (602) 506-7396 desk / (602) 376-9390 cell
Valley Metro/RPTA provides eco-friendly public transit options to residents in Maricopa County, including a clean-fuel bus fleet, low-emissions light rail, online carpool and vanpool matching, bus trip mapping, and bicycle and telework assistance. Funding is provided by local, state and federal revenues; and administered by a board of 16 governments working to improve and regionalize the public transit system. Please visit www.ValleyMetro.org to learn more.
CONTACT: Susan Tierney – (602) 523-6004 desk / (602) 292-4093 cell