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Maricopa County Homepage   MARICOPA COUNTY
Air Quality Department, Bob Huhn, PIO
1001 North Central Avenue
Phoenix, AZ  85004
Ph 602-506-6713

PM-2.5 High Pollution Advisory Saturday and Sunday

MARICOPA COUNTY (January 11, 2012)- The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality is issuing a High Pollution Advisory (HPA) for Saturday, Jan. 12 and Sunday, Jan. 13, for fine Particulate Matter-2.5.


The Maricopa County Air Quality Department also issued a “No Burn Day” restriction for Saturday and Sunday for residences and businesses and will send inspectors into the community to enforce the restriction. This restriction also includes individuals and businesses that have burn permits for open burning.


The HPA is being issued because significant levels of PM-2.5 are expected from fireplace wood burning because of below-freezing temperatures coupled with light winds in the Phoenix metropolitan area.


“We understand that this weekend will be extremely cold and there will be an urge to light a fire,” Maricopa County Air Quality Director Bill Wiley said. “Please keep warm by using gas, electric or approved EPA wood-burning devices. This will help your family members, friends and other residents, who have health issues, stay warm and get through this difficult time.”


ADEQ recommends that children and adults with respiratory problems limit outdoor activities and that the general public minimize outdoor activity throughout the weekend.  


The Maricopa County Trip Reduction program and Valley Metro Business Services request employers activate their HPA Plan. Residents and employers are asked to use these tips to help make the air healthier to breathe:  

  • Eliminate fireplace and wood stove use.
  • Drive as little as possible: car pool, use public transit or telecommute. For information on transportation alternatives, visit Valley Metro:
  • Recreational off-highway vehicle (OHV) use is prohibited during the advisory period.
  • The use of leaf blowers on governmental properties is prohibited during the advisory period.
  • Avoid using gas-powered lawn and garden equipment.
  • Avoid activities that generate dust, such as driving on dirt roads.
  • Stabilize loose soils.


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






The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality [ADEQ] provides a daily forecast for air quality. When conditions exist, ADEQ will issue high pollution advisories, health watches and alerts. Daily air quality forecasts are on ADEQ’s Web site at  or by calling (602)771-2367. Those interested in receiving the air quality forecast via email can subscribe to

ADEQ’s forecast list at and text alerts at


The Maricopa County Air Quality Department issues No Burn Day restrictions based on a High Pollution Advisory or Health Watch.  These No Burn Day restrictions typically occur during the winter months.  To find out if any burn restrictions are in place, call 602-506-6400 or visit .  Information is given in both English and Spanish.


To learn more about the Maricopa County residential woodburning restriction ordinance, view a copy on our website  Click on the direct link to the residential woodburning restriction ordinance:


Valley Metro/RPTA provides eco-friendly public transit options to residents of greater Phoenix and Maricopa County, including a clean-fuel bus fleet, low-emissions light rail, online carpool matching and bus trip mapping, and bicycle and telecommuting assistance. Funding is provided by local, state and federal revenues and administered by a board of 15 governments working to improve and regionalize the public transit system.


Media contacts:


Arizona Department of Environmental Quality [ADEQ]

Mark Shaffer - 602-771-2215 desk / 480-433-9551 cell


Maricopa County Air Quality Department

Bob Huhn – 602-506-6713 desk / 602-526-7307 cell


Valley Metro

Susan Tierney - 602-262-4668 desk / 602-292-4093 cell


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