Be a good neighbor: Please minimize your smoke

The Olympic Region Clean Air Agency (ORCAA) is asking residents to help public health during the cold, still days this week.

Due to a high-pressure system in the atmosphere, parts of our region may experience localized areas of stagnant air quality during overnight and early morning hours this week. Under these conditions, any smoke we produce tends to linger close to the ground and impact our local neighborhoods.

To be a good neighbor, we encourage folks who heat their homes with wood to take extra precautions to limit their smoke. Wood stoves should be operated with good air flow (open dampers) to ensure a hot, clean-burning fire. And ONLY clean, dry firewood should be burned – an inexpensive moisture meter can help ensure your firewood is less than 20-percent moisture! Take a peek at your chimney after 30 or 40 minutes of burning – there should be little to no visible smoke.

Tired of your old wood stove? ORCAA offers financial support to Replace or simply Recycle that old stove and get a financial award. See details about our Wood Smoke Reduction Program.

Residents who use their fireplaces for simple ambience rather than heat should refrain from burning at all this week. Likewise, ORCAA asks residents to voluntarily refrain from burning yard waste debris until the high-pressure system moves out. Or compost that yard waste instead of burning it. Composting does not affect air quality and provides you with a rich source of organic fertilizer for your yard and garden next spring.


Media Contact

Dan Nelson

Communications/Outreach Manager