With their annual ‘Burn Cleaner, Burn Better’ campaign, the Maricopa County Air Quality Department is asking residents and businesses to work together and use cleaner burning alternatives instead of wood and always abide by no burn days.
No Burn Days are issued when air quality monitoring or forecasting indicates that air quality standards for smoke/ PM2.5 pollution are likely to be exceeded. During a No Burn Day, residents, visitors, and businesses are not allowed to use wood burning devices such as fireplaces, fire pits, or chimineas. However, natural gas devices are permitted on No Burn Days.
“This campaign is successful because of partnerships with other agencies, private businesses, community organizations, and residents who want to make sure all County residents can safely enjoy their holiday season.” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Gates, District 3. “They have helped us create programs to encourage cleaner fuel use and let people know about No Burn Days. Respecting those days is one of the most important things we can do for air quality in Maricopa County.”
MCAQD offers two different programs for residents to reduce smoke/PM2.5 pollution. The Maricopa County Fireplace Retrofit Program (MCFRP) offers residents within its program boundary (Northern Avenue to Baseline Road and 16th Street to 59th Avenue) the opportunity to retrofit an existing wood burning fireplace with a pollution reduction device at no cost, or a discounted natural gas installation. The Propane Fire Pit Program, in partnership with the Arizona Propane Gas Association and Home Depot, provides 1,000 Maricopa County residents a $75 voucher towards the purchase of an outdoor propane fire pit at any participating Home Depot store.
“The ‘Burn Cleaner, Burn Better’ campaign is an effort to keep the citizens of Maricopa County healthy.” Maricopa County Air Quality Director Philip McNeely said. “We want residents to enjoy their holiday festivities, but hope they consider cleaner, healthier alternatives that allow everyone a safe holiday season.”
Smoke from wood burning fireplaces and chimineas during winter months pose a serious health threat to children and people living with heart or lung disease. Soot 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 particulate matter in the air.
To find out if it is a No Burn Day, visit CleanAirMakeMore.com, download the Clean Air Make More mobile app, or call 602-506-6400.
To sign up for the Maricopa County Fireplace Retrofit Program, access CleanAirMakeMore.com/fireplace-retrofit-program. To participate in the Propane Fire Pit Program, access CleanAirMakeMore.com/firepit.
For more information, contact Bob Huhn with MCAQD at 602-506-6713.