Air Quality Suffers from Stagnant Weather
Agency asks for voluntary measures to reduce wood smoke pollution.
VANCOUVER, Wash. – Stagnant weather conditions over Lewis County are trapping air pollution at ground level, causing local air pollution levels to rise. Air quality forecasters do not expect the stagnation to clear out until Thursday afternoon.
The Southwest Clean Air Agency encourages residents to postpone their outdoor burning projects, if possible, until favorable weather patterns return. Those who heat their homes with wood are asked to burn as clean as possible, using only dry, seasoned firewood. For clean burning tips, visit www.swcleanair.org/burnclean.html.
“Lewis County residents may have noticed increased smoke in their neighborhoods yesterday,” remarked Randy Peltier, operations manager of the Southwest Clean Air Agency. “During an inversion such as we are experiencing, air pollution from fine particulate matter gets trapped and builds up as people continue to use their wood stoves and burn their yard or land clearing debris.”
“Please be aware of the conditions in your area if you need to burn, said Jackie Brown, air quality specialist. “If the smoke is not dispersing or we have foggy, dry conditions, it’s not a good idea to burn.”
Fine particles released by smoke from wood stoves, fireplaces, outdoor burning and automobiles are of concern because they can reach deep into the lungs. Air pollution can trigger asthma attacks, cause difficulty breathing and make lung and heart problems worse. Air pollution is especially harmful to children, people with heart and lung problems, and adults over age 65.
Founded in 1968, the mission of the Southwest Clean Air Agency is to preserve and enhance the air quality in southwest Washington. Serving the counties of Clark, Cowlitz, Lewis, Skamania and Wahkiakum, SWCAA is responsible for protecting the public’s health through the enforcement of federal, state and local air quality standards and regulations.
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