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"Red/Yellow/Green" Wood Burning Season

Wood burning season runs from November 1 to March 1 each winter. During that time, the Division of Air Quality may call "no burn" days, based on pollution levels and weather/clearing index predictions. Owners of wood stoves or fireplaces that emit visible pollutants (smoke) on those days may be fined from $25 to $299. The restrictions apply to Utah, Salt Lake, Davis and Weber Counties. The Bear River Health Department has its own wood-burning program affecting Cache County.

The burning process creates PM10 and PM2.5 - fine air borne particles that get trapped in the valleys in during the winter months when the air is very still. During an inversion, these particles can cause health impacts, particularly for those who have respiratory conditions.

The current wood burning status is announced to the news media and is also available on the Air Monitoring website and by calling 975-4009 inside Salt Lake County or 1-800-228-5434 in all other areas. A red/yellow/green system is used:

  • RED means stop residential burning. Red is called only when pollution concentrations are high and those high levels are predicted to persist. At that time, the Division of Air Quality will declare a no burn period, banning all wood stove and fireplace burning until further notice unless an exemption has been issued for homes in which wood/coal burning is the sole source of heat.)
  • YELLOW means voluntary reduction of all wood/coal burning. When high pollution levels and/or temperature inversions are predicted, the public is advised to reduce the amount or wood/coal being used. If possible, wood stoves and/or fireplaces should not be used at all during a yellow period.
  • GREEN means wood burning is allowed. When the clearing index is high and pollution levels are low, it is OK to use your fireplace or woodburning stove.



Click here for more information on wood burning stoves and fireplaces.

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