PHOENIX (November 15, 2023) – The Maricopa County Air Quality Department (MCAQD) launches the Burn Cleaner, Burn Better (BCBB) annual winter campaign to help protect the public’s health and prevent high concentrations of harmful air pollutants in the valley.
The BCBB campaign informs the public on the health effects of smoke from wood burning fireplaces, fire pits, and chimeneas on 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.
“The Burn Cleaner, Burn Better campaign encourages community participation to improve air quality in Maricopa County,” says Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chairman Clint Hickman, District 4. “By not burning wood on No Burn Days and opting for alternative fuel-burning devices, we can help protect our environment and the health of our loved ones.”
MCAQD declares a “No Burn Day” when unhealthy air quality levels are on a rise and asks people to take action to protect the health of our community. Although most types of outdoor fires are prohibited, the use of gas and electric devices are permitted on No Burn Days. Maricopa County benefits greatly from residents opting to make the switch from wood burning to alternative fuel burning devices.
MCAQD offers two programs to 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 vouchers or discount options for retrofitting a wood burning fireplace with a natural gas log set or for purchasing propane fire pits to eligible Maricopa County residents.
“The health of our community is the Air Quality Department’s top priority when declaring No Burn Days, says MCAQD Director, Philip McNeely, “The BCBB campaign encourages residents and businesses to come together to make a positive impact on our health and environment by helping improve air quality with cleaner burning alternatives.”
Reducing air pollution results in less days missed from work and school and less money spent for medical care associated with air pollution. 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.
To learn more about the BCBB campaign and the programs offered to reduce air pollution, visit Maricopa.gov/AQBurnBetter. To find out if it is a No Burn Day, visit Maricopa.gov/AQ, download the Clean Air mobile app through the App Store or Google Play, or call 602-506-6400.
Access the Burn Cleaner, Burn Better campaign toolkit>>
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About Maricopa County Air Quality Department
MCAQD’s mission is to improve the air of Maricopa County so customers, residents, and visitors can live, work, and play in a healthy environment. MCAQD is governed by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors and follows air quality standards set forth by the federal Clean Air Act. For air quality information and resources, visit CleanAirMakeMore.com.
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