MESA COUNTY, Colo.
Every winter Grand Valley air quality suffers due to inversion. To help prevent these dangerous levels, the county has launched the wintertime air quality advisory program.
Residents are asked to voluntarily refrain from using their wood stoves and fireplaces on days when there is a temperature inversion, which could trap wood smoke in the air.
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) or if such a device is their sole source of heat. City of Grand Junction and Fruita residents with conventional fireplaces or non-certified woodstoves are required to refrain from burning during periods declared “No Burn.”
Officials say wood smoke contains compounds that can cause short-term and long-term respiratory problems and may increase the risk of cancer. Problems are more likely to develop in infants, small children, people with existing respiratory problems and the elderly
During the Nov. 1 – Feb. 28 advisory program, Mesa County Health Department will issue advisories at least weekly, more often when necessary due to prevailing meteorological conditions. Weekend advisories will be issued on Fridays. Last Friday’s advisory said it was OK to burn.
During “No Burn” periods, residents are also asked to exercise other small habits which can reduce their contribution to air pollution. Those include refraining from idling vehicles, postponing unnecessary vehicle trips, combining several trips into one, carpooling, using public transportation or walking.
Residents can check the current status by calling a 24-hour pre-recorded information line at 970-248-6990, or checking the Mesa County Health Department website here