No Burn Alerts Don’t Apply to Pizza Ovens

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No Burn Alerts Don’t Apply to Pizza Ovens

Postby Wilberforce » Thu Jan 25, 2018 11:01 am

No Burn Alerts Don’t Apply to Pizza Ovens
January 20, 2018 Patricia Lombard

Residential wood burning pizza ovens are exempt from SCAQMD no-burn alerts

The South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) has issued a number of residential no-burn alerts in the last few months, due to recent wildfires in the region. If you’ve been following the alerts, and not using your fireplace, all of us thank you for avoiding adding more harmful particulates to the air. However, if you’ve been avoiding using your wood burning pizza oven, it turns out you can resume using it, even if there has been an alert.

“While they do apply to all indoor and outdoor residential wood burning, they do not apply to pizza ovens. So you can use the ovens even during a no-burn day,” explained Sam Atwood, Media Relations Manager at the South Coast Air Quality Management District.

We contacted Atwood to ask about pizza oven usage and to see if the recent rains might improve air quality.

“We’ve had a high number of no-burn days this winter due to stagnant weather conditions,” wrote Atwood in an email to the Buzz. “Rain in the forecast will mix the atmosphere and improve air quality.”

The no-burn prohibition also applies to manufactured fire logs, such as those made from wax or paper. The alert is for all those living in the South Coast Air Basin, which includes Orange County and non-desert portions of Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties. No-burn alerts are mandatory in order to protect public health. Particles in wood smoke – also known as fine particulate matter or PM2.5 – can get deep into the lungs and cause respiratory illnesses, increases in emergency room visits and hospitalizations.

SCAQMD’s Check Before You Burn program is in effect from November through the end of February, when particulate levels are highest. A link to additional information and an interactive no-burn alert map is available at For 24-hour recorded Check Before You Burn information, call (866) 966-3293.

Pizza is back on the menu at our house, just in time for a blustery, chilly day!

News from Larchmont Village, Hancock Park and the Greater Wilshire areas of Los Angeles.

source ... zza-ovens/

Fairbanks Borough mayor: Few are complying with burn bans

Amanda Bohman Jan 18, 2018 Updated Jan 19, 2018 (…)

FAIRBANKS — The Fairbanks North Star Borough has called 16 burn bans so far this winter. The air is improving, but the level of particulate pollution is still far above federal standards aimed at protecting human health, according to Mayor Karl Kassel.

Low compliance with restrictions on burning wood and coal is a problem, Kassel said Wednesday. He is planning a series of town hall meetings, starting Jan. 30 in North Pole, to educate residents about the state of the borough’s air.

“There are a lot of folks that have been ignoring this situation,” he said. “People have been ignoring it because they have busy lives. I get that. But it’s time that folks really do need to understand what is going on and help us take some corrective action.”

The first town hall meeting is planned for 6 p.m. at the North Pole Branch Library. More are to come, Kassel said, with times and places to be announced.

“The air quality numbers are the highest in North Pole,” he said, “so we wanted to start out there.”

The problem is PM 2.5, a fine particulate that is a byproduct of combustion. When the air is stagnant, the particulates — from wood smoke and other sources — linger. Decades of scientific research has revealed a connection between PM 2.5 and various illnesses that effect hearts and lungs. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has put the borough on notice to reduce the PM 2.5.

So far this winter, the borough has issued more than 100 warning letters to residents suspected of flouting burning restrictions, Kassel said. Only one resident has been cited this winter for burning during an air quality alert, he said.

“There is a very low percentage of people that are currently complying with the regulations,” Kassel said. “We have eyes and ears on the ground. We are well aware.”

Most of the residents who have received a warning letter also were contacted by the mayor’s office. Kassel said his office has been able to work with most people to find a solution.

Residents with no other option to heat their homes than wood or coal can seek a waiver.

“We found a very large percentage that were just uninformed,” Kassel said. “Some said they just didn’t have the time to sign up for (text) alerts ... We’ve had some that are looking at stove change outs.”

Kassel described about 10 percent as “totally uncooperative.”

“They just hung up on us and said they didn’t want to talk to us. Some were verbally abusive,” he said.

State and borough air quality staff regularly monitor neighborhoods during Stage 1 and Stage 2 air quality alerts, which trigger restrictions on burning solid fuels.

Kassel said he is discouraged by the lack of compliance.

“How bad of air do we want to put up with for how long?” he said. “How many health issues are we creating before we work on this?”

Contact staff writer Amanda Bohman at 459-7587. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMborough.

source ... b7d2c.html

$800,000 in rebates to replace fireplaces is snapped up in 15 hours by Bay Area homeowners

By Denis Cuff | | Bay Area News Group
PUBLISHED: January 18, 2018 at 1:34 pm | UPDATED: January 18, 2018 at 3:12 pm
Bay Area homeowners took just 15 hours this week to snap up $800,000 in rebates to replace wood burning fireplaces and stoves with cleaner heating options.

The Bay Area Air Quality Management opened the rebate application period at 11 a.m. Tuesday and the reservations for the money were snapped up by 2 a.m Wednesday, the air district reported Thursday.

Some homeowners worked late into the night to submit online applications. Other applicants will be put on a waiting list for future rebate programs that may be offered when money is available.

The air district offered rebates of $750 to decommission and seal off a wood burning fireplace, $1,000 to switch to a natural-gas fireplace insert, and $3,500 to switch to an electric heat pump.

“People recognize the value and convenience of switching from wood-burning to natural gas that protects you and your family from the health impacts of wood smoke,” said Ralph Borrmann, an air quality district spokesman.

Air quality officials were not surprised by the public response as previous fireplace change out rebate offers were popular.

In this new round of rebates, the air district restricted eligibility to residents of areas ranked as most affected by smoke and fine-particle air pollution. Those areas include neighborhoods along freeways and near heavy industries, and communities in valleys that trap wood smoke near the ground.

To view information about rebate signup, visit

As incentives to reduce pollution, the air district has a variety of programs providing grants to replace old engines for diesel trucks, buses, boats, and railroad locomotives.

source ... -15-hours/
• The Surgeon General has determined that there is no safe level of exposure to ambient smoke!

• If you smell even a subtle odor of smoke, you are being exposed to poisonous and carcinogenic chemical compounds!

• Even a brief exposure to smoke raises blood pressure, (no matter what your state of health) and can cause blood clotting, stroke, or heart attack in vulnerable people. Even children experience elevated blood pressure when exposed to smoke!

• Since smoke drastically weakens the lungs' immune system, avoiding smoke is one of the best ways to prevent colds, flu, bronchitis, or risk of an even more serious respiratory illness, such as pneumonia or tuberculosis! Does your child have the flu? Chances are they have been exposed to ambient smoke!
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