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Utah's Wood-Burn Program

 

Why does Utah have a wood-burn program?

Winter Smoke over SLC.The Wood-Burn Program was created to prevent pollution build up by curtailing wood and coal burning along the Wasatch Front during the winter inversions. Sometimes during winter months, a layer of cold air is confined within the Wasatch Front valleys by the surrounding mountains. Above the cold, dense layer is warm air. This creates an inversion that acts much like a lid, trapping pollutants within the cold air. In addition to the particulates emitted by automobiles, wood-burning stoves and fireplaces can also contribute to air pollution in Utah.

Fine particles such as those in soot and dust can become lodged in delicate lung tissue, decreasing lung function - a particularly hazardous situation for people with respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. Whenever pollution levels, measured by the amount of particulates in the air, reach a specific concentration, mandatory no-burn periods go into effect.

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