Greater Portola Area wintertime advisory program in effect

The Northern Sierra Air Quality Management District  recommends avoiding the use of any wood-burning device — (including wood stoves, fireplaces, fire pits and cook stoves — on poor air quality days.

The District asks people to refrain from open burning, as well. The District will issue a “Clear The Air; Check Before You Light” daily health advisory for these days.

An advisory will be issued when weather forecasts indicate stagnant conditions and smoke produced to heat homes will remain in the breathing zone. Smoke from wood burning is responsible for the majority of air pollution in Plumas County.

The greater Portola area has been designated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as a federal “nonattainment” area. This means that air pollution exceeds National Ambient Air Quality Standards for fine particulate matter (PM2.5). The District, the California Air Resources Board, the U.S. EPA and the city of Portola are working together to reduce air pollution to meet state and national standards.

Portola can clear the air and improve community health. Here’s how:

– Light only in EPA-certified devices on advisory days.

– Use only dry, well-seasoned wood (less than 20 percent moisture content).

– Go outside and look at the chimney to make sure it is burning hot enough so that smoke is not being emitted. A proper fire should produce only heat waves once draft is created.

– Never burn garbage or chemically treated wood.

– Do not let creosote buildup in your chimney (avoid wet/green wood; clean the chimney annually).

– Schedule curbside green waste pickup with IMD (within the city of Portola) instead of open burning.

Are you eligible for funding to replace your current uncertified wood stove (or qualified fireplace) with a new EPA certified stove? Contact the District at 832-0102 to find out!

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