Residents Asked to Reduce Burning. While a bit of sun and lack of rain later this week presents a nice end of the year surprise, it also could mean degraded air quality. Heading into New Years Weekend, temperatures are expected to be chilly, with little wind to clear the air. Cold nights and quiet, foggy mornings tend to prompt more use of woodstoves and fireplaces. Unfortunately, in these conditions any smoke we put into the air around us, stays in the air around us. The result could be rising levels of air pollution.
In the interest of public health and safety, the Olympic Region Clean Air Agency (ORCAA) asks that all residents VOLUNTARILY refrain from burning unless absolutely necessary.
Burning wood creates smoke composed of fine and very fine particulate matter (PM2.5). These tiny particles are too small to be filtered by the nose and the body’s other natural defense mechanisms, so they may end up being inhaled deep into the lungs. That means that exposure to wood smoke may, at the very least, cause breathing problems and can increase – sometimes substantially increase – the severity of existing lung disease, such as asthma. Smoke also has been shown to aggravate heart and vascular disease.