The Western Slope Air Watch (WSAW), Western Colorado's wintertime air quality advisory program, officially kicks off Nov. 1 and runs through Feb. 28.
The program asks residents to voluntarily not use their wood stoves and fireplaces on days when there is a temperature inversion which could trap wood smoke.
The program does not apply to residents who use gas logs, gas fireplace inserts, or EPA-certified woodstoves and pellet stoves (EPA-certified devices carry a label indicating certification). City of Grand Junction residents with conventional fireplaces or uncertified woodstoves are required to refrain from burning during "Red Flame"- declared inversion periods.
"Smoke contains fine particulates that reduce visibility and, more critically, adversely affect people's health," says Ed Brotsky, air quality specialist for the Mesa County Health Department. Brotsky says wood smoke contains tar-like compounds that can cause short-term and long-term respiratory problems and may increase the risk of cancer. Problems are most likely to develop in infants, small children, persons with existing respiratory problems, and the elderly.
Advisory forecasts will be issued at least weekly but may increase when necessary due to prevailing meteorological conditions for Mesa, Delta, and Montrose counties. Weekend advisories will be issued on Fridays. Residents can access the 24-hour pre-recorded information line at (970) 248-6990.blog comments powered by Disqus