Q:

Why are there No Burn Day restrictions in Phoenix?

A:

Quick Answer

No Burn Day restrictions exist in Phoenix and throughout Maricopa County, Arizona due to dangerously high levels of particulate matter in the air in this region during certain days of the year, according to the Air Quality Department. By limiting unnecessary wood burning during high-risk times, lung harm can be reduced.

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Full Answer

The greater Phoenix area typically experiences high levels of air pollution due to particulate matter during the winter months, as residents light fireplaces due to cold weather, notes the department. When pollution levels get to a high enough level, however, this additional wood burning can become harmful to area residents. Particulate matter can enter the lungs while breathing, and wood burning can produce dangerous toxins, such as carbon monoxide.

The Maricopa County Air Quality Department states that it is in charge of issuing No Burn Day restrictions based on weather and air quality conditions. This regulation is usually put in place during periods of high particulate matter or other air pollution, such as dust pollution. The air quality in Maricopa County is monitored constantly, and state forecasters issue a high pollution advisory when the quality becomes too poor.

The director of the Air Quality Department is responsible for issuing No Burn Day restrictions in response to these advisories, explains the department. These restrictions prohibit all residential wood burning for the 24-hour period beginning at midnight of the date of the advisory, including campfires, wood stoves and fireplaces.

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