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Breathe Utah launches wood burning awareness campaign

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – A local clean air group says there's a big problem with people continuing to burn on restricted days.

That's why Breathe Utah is launching a new awareness campaign.

It's the Know When to Burn campaign. The goal is to remind people who burn it takes all of us to help clear the air during the dreaded inversions.

Take one step outside and you feel it. Even when healthy, the pollution can weigh you down.

One thing contributing to this blanket over the valley is burning on restricted days.

"Burning wood and burning solid fuel, you know, like charcoal, leaves, trash, stuff like that, that you shouldn't be burning, actually does contribute a huge amount to our inversions," said Ashley Miller with Breathe Utah.

She says burning releases direct particulate matter to the air and accounts for 12-15% of pollution during an inversion.

She says it's especially bad for those living nearby.

Miller says the campaign is needed because people are still burning on restricted days and enforcement is lacking.

"Our Know When to Burn campaign is basically a tool that people can use to better understand how to figure out when is an appropriate time to burn solid fuel."

An effort to help us all breathe a little easier and help offenders avoid a potentially hefty fine.

"There's a fine up to $299 for a second offense," said Miller.

So, how do you know if it's a voluntary or mandatory action day? The ABC4 Pinpoint Weather Team keeps you up to date every day during our forecasts.

The campaign also includes curriculum for students K-12 that is approved by the board of education.


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