SALT LAKE CITY -- Thursday was day two of the Utah Department of Environmental Quality’s mandatory action days. That means you are not allowed to burn wood at your home, or in a wood-burning stove, or use wood to make a campfire of any kind.
If you are caught you will face a $150 fine, and for a second offense, a $299 fine.
“We are trying to be proactive,” said DEQ communication director Donna Kemp Spangler. “So we are calling our no burn days before it actually reaches the unhealthy level. The particulate pollution that we see that causes the lung inflation is probably half way to the unhealthy part [as of Thursday], but since we know we are not going to see a storm, since we know we are going to be in an inversion, it doesn’t make sense to add the pollution by burning wood.”
Spangler said if everyone cut back on fuel use now, this three-week outlook may not become as bad as it could be.
“Now is the time to act," she said. "Now is the time because the pollution is just going to get worse if we don’t do anything. We need to pay attention; we need to limit our driving, drive smarter, avoid idling, turn down the heat in your home, try and take your lunch to work, carpool, use mass transit.”
So far this inversion season the DEQ has mandated two action days for Salt Lake County and six volunteer action days. Last inversion season it had 18 mandatory action days and 28 volunteer action days.
To check the air quality in your area, click here and select your county from the list at the top.
You can also download the DEQ air quality app, which is called Utah Air. Click here for the app in the Apple App Store and click here for the Android version from Google Play.