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Air quality worsens in Columbia Valley; residents asked to curb wood burning

A hydraulic log splitter is used at a huge pile of firewood. The Northwest Clean Air Agency is asking Columbia Valley residents to avoid or cut back on burning wood through the weekend because air quality in the area has reached unhealthy levels as of Friday afternoon.
A hydraulic log splitter is used at a huge pile of firewood. The Northwest Clean Air Agency is asking Columbia Valley residents to avoid or cut back on burning wood through the weekend because air quality in the area has reached unhealthy levels as of Friday afternoon. Herald-Leader

Stagnant air, combined with wood burning, has worsened air quality in the Columbia Valley, where it was moderate as of Friday afternoon, according to the Northwest Clean Air Agency.

The agency asked residents to avoid or cut back on burning wood for heat through the weekend.

Cold temperatures and stagnant air conditions are expected to trap elevated levels of wood smoke in the valley in northeast Whatcom County through the weekend, the agency said.

Burning wood to heat homes – especially when it’s done incorrectly – can produce fine-particle smoke pollution that can harm lungs and hearts.

Information, including how to check air quality, can be found online at nwcleanair.org.

Kie Relyea: 360-715-2234, @kierelyea

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