Stagnant air exacerbates pollution
The Maricopa County Air Quality Department has extended the latest "no burn" order through the weekend.
It means that wood burning is prohibited unless it's your primary source of home heat.
The current cold spell is a result of a high pressure system centered over the southwestern states that leads to stagnant air. As a result, pollution isn't being carried away by the wind, and pollutants continue to build.
The department says the particulate matter that makes up wood smoke makes breathing even more difficult than usual for people with breating problems such as asthma or bronchitis.
"We understand how nice a cozy fire is for the family and all that," says Bob Huhn, spokesman for the Air Quality Department. "But you have to look at the bigger picture. You have to think of the public health – what it's doing to your neighbors, children who have asthma, elderly folks who have lung issues."
Air quality inspectors will be working this weekend responding to complaints of violators, who can be warned or fined.
To report a violation, call (602) 372-2703.