It’s no secret that Cache Valley suffers from inversion during the winter months. That’s why as of last year, mandatory no-burn days were put into effect.
There are three different levels: unrestricted action, voluntary action and mandatory action. Minor Source Compliance Section Manager for the Utah Division of Air Quality Jay Morris explained that unrestricted action means there is no action to be taken. With voluntary action days, the air pollution levels start to climb, so community members are asked to try to not burn on those days. Then on mandatory action days, the levels have hit an unhealthy point and use of solid fuel burning devices is prohibited.
Both a health forecast and the action forecast can be found at <a href=”http://www.airquality.utah.gov/” target=”_blank”>airquality.utah.gov</a>. You can also find a list of what is prohibited on no-burn days.
Morris said it is important to make sure our neighbors are not burning on mandatory action days.
“Our enforcement program is most effective if we receive complaints from people. That way we have a direct address to go to. We don’t have to drive around and look for wood smoke,” he said. “It helps us be much more efficient if people give us an address.”
Morris said to report a violation, you can call <span>801-536-4000. When calling in, he said, you can choose to be anonymous. </span>
After a first time violation, the violator will receive a letter in the mail with a $25 penalty. Morris added that for first time violators, instead of paying, they have the option to sign up for a class on reducing emissions from wood stoves.
So far this year, Cache County has had 13 complaints. Three of the violations came from the same location.