While the air quality across Whatcom County has improved in the last couple days, the Northwest Clean Air Agency is asking people to make sure any burning they do is as clean as possible.
Air quality deteriorated over the recent cold spell, with the Columbia Valley’s air reaching unhealthy levels. Even Bellingham had air quality worsen from its usual “good” to unhealthy for children, seniors and those with respiratory conditions.
Despite the return of overall good air quality, a poorly managed fire can affect neighbors and their health. Smoke coming from a chimney should be no more than a wisp. If the smoke is heavier than that, it’s an indicator the fireplace or woodstove is not burning correctly, according to the agency.
Other ways to reduce smoke and air pollution: Burn only dry wood; build a small, hot fire; consider using manufactured logs; keep the damper wide open to ensure the fire has lots of air; and extinguish it fully when done.
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The clean air agency has the authority to enforce air quality laws, including if too much smoke is coming from your chimney.