With the weather (finally) beginning to cool down, the Maricopa County Air Quality Department might be issuing more “no burn days” than usual. While this might be an inconvenience to those who love to enjoy a nice bonfire in the backyard during chilly nights, burning wood on restricted days is a bad idea for a number of reasons. If you’re wondering what those reasons might be, here are a few important ones to consider…
In effect, “no burn days” prohibits the burning of wood in wood burning chimeneas, wood stoves, outdoor fire pits, and other similar devices. However, there are a number of exceptions to this rule, which can be found on the Air Quality Department’s website. You can also request to burn wood on a specific day as an alternative option.
If you’re caught burning wood on “no burn days,” you will be hit with some nasty penalties. In Maricopa alone, you could be forced to pay a fine anywhere between $50 to $250 depending on how many times you’ve violated the ordinance within one calendar year. Likewise, anyone caught burning wood more than four times within one year will encounter subsequent fines of $250.
Air Quality Issues
As the population in Phoenix generally increases by half a million people (snowbirds) throughout the holiday season, so does the level of pollution in the city. The Department will issue no burn days when the level of particulate matter (PM) is high. It’s noted that during the holidays, Phoenix can see PM levels reach as high as PM-2.5, which is outrageously high. In effect, breathing in these particles can damage your lungs, as many logs or other things that tend to be thrown into fire pits can give off harmful toxins, including carbon monoxide.
Be aware that a “no burn day” can be issued at any time the Department deems necessary. So be aware of these public notices, and save your lungs, as well as the environment.