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Air Quality Department, Bob Huhn, PIO
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Phoenix, AZ  85004
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PM-2.5 Health Watch-No Burn Day issued for Monday



MARICOPA COUNTY (January 13, 2013) - The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality is issuing a Health Watch for fine particulate matter pollution (PM-2.5) for Monday, January 14, 2013. As a result, the Maricopa County Air Quality Department will issue No Burn Day restrictions, which includes a ban on woodburning activity including fireplaces, fire pits or open outdoor burning. This is the fourth consecutive No Burn Day.

The purpose of No Burn Day restrictions is to avoid adding pollution to our air when the forecast suggests air quality will approach or exceed the federal health standard.  Fireplace pollution is something within our control.  Take action by putting these pollution prevention resources and tips into your daily routine. 

“We are still experiencing winter weather conditions such as, extremely cold temperatures, stagnant air, relatively low wind and winter inversions, which trap fine particulate pollution close to the ground,” Maricopa County Air Quality Director Bill Wiley said. “We need everyone’s help to keep from creating bad air that hurts the people we care about.”

Residents must refrain from burning wood, trash or other materials in their fireplace, woodstove or outdoor fire pit during this 24-hour period.  This restriction includes those who have burn permits for open burning.

This health watch includes the following restrictions:


  • Eliminate wood burning in fireplaces, stoves, chimineas and outdoor fire pits.
  • Drive as little as possible: car pool, use public transit or telecommute. For information on transportation alternatives, visit Valley Metro: or call 602-253-5000.
  • Avoid using gas-powered lawn and garden equipment.
  • Avoid activities that generate dust, such as driving on dirt roads.

To learn more about the air you’re breathing, visit:


Please take note that approved residential woodburning devices or Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved devices such as gas fireplaces, gas logs and pellet stoves, are permitted.


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.   

"Health Watch" means the highest concentration of pollution may approach the federal health standard. Unusually sensitive people should consider reducing prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion during a health watch.

"High Pollution Advisory" or "HPA" means the highest concentration of pollution may exceed the federal health standard. Active children, adults and people with lung disease such as asthma should reduce prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion. Maricopa County employers enlisted in the Trip Reduction Program are asked to activate their HPA plans on high pollution advisory days.          

About Maricopa County Air Quality Department 

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.  Visit to learn more.

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NEW: Download our Clean Air Make More app! It is free to download and use and is available on iTunes for iPhone and iPad and on Google Play for Android.



Media contact:  

Bob Huhn

Public Information Officer

602-506- 6713


Lucette Gonzalez

Media Specialist






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