The region’s cold, calm weather this week is putting air quality at risk, and the Olympic Region Clean Air Agency (ORCAA) is asking residents to voluntarily curtail outdoor burning.
By limiting the amount of outdoor burning, ORCAA hopes to avoid having to call an official burn ban that would force residents to curtail their use of woodstoves for home heating. Curbing outdoor burning will mean residents can continue to use their woodstoves to stay warm during the long holiday weekend.
Burning wood creates smoke composed of fine particles that are too small to be filtered by the body’s natural defense mechanisms, so they may end up being inhaled deep into the lungs. That means exposure to wood smoke can cause breathing problems and increase the severity of existing lung disease, such as asthma. Smoke also has been shown to aggravate heart and vascular disease.
Rather than burning yard waste this week, ORCAA asks homeowners to use alternative means of disposal such as chipping and composting. Find more details on the options at www.orcaa.org.