SLO County Air Pollution Control District issues voluntary no bu - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

SLO County Air Pollution Control District issues voluntary no burn advisory

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San Luis Obispo County Air Pollution Control District has issued a voluntary "Don't Light Tonight" advisory for December 12 to December 18.  AFCD asks residents to refrain from burning wood or using wood stoves or fireplaces unless their use is needed as a primary heat source.

Use of fireplaces and wood stoves elevates the levels of fine particulate matter in the air, which traps wood smoke closer to the ground and the air people breathe.  That, mixed with the current weather conditions and already smoky air due to wildfires in Ventura and Santa Barbara County, makes fireplace use a non-recommended activity.

If you can smell smoke or see ash falling, officials recommend taking precautions and use common sense to reduce smoke exposure.  Fine particulates from wood smoke can cause breathing problems for many residents, and if it is obvious smoke is in the air, it is recommended that residents should avoid outdoor activities that cause heavy breathing, remain indoors as much as possible, and set home heating/cooling/ventilation systems to re-circulate.  

Taking those precautions are important for children and older adults.  It is especially important for those with existing respiratory illness and heart conditions to take precautions as they are particularly vulnerable to the health effects of poor air quality.

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