Burn Code Changed from Yellow Back to Green - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Burn Code Changed from Yellow Back to Green

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Tuesday morning the Washoe County Health District changed the wood burning code from yellow back to green citing improving weather conditions. The change means it is now okay to use your fireplace, wood and pellet stoves.

On Saturday, the Health District had issued the first yellow burn code of the season and were asking residents to avoid burning if possible.

Officials said the main reason for the yellow code was cold, calm weather.

"There's been hardly a breeze now for several days," Washoe County Health District Director of Air Quality Management Kevin Dick said Monday. "And we have people that are burning fireplaces and wood stoves overnight, and the particles from that smoke are just accumulating in our breathing zone."

That's bad news for people with respiratory or cardiovascular problems. The particulate level had been in the 80s Saturday through Monday, edging close to 100, which marks an unhealthy level of air pollution.

One reason the Health District asks you to avoid burning during code yellows is because burning at the same rate could upgrade us to a red burn code. That would mean a ban on burning and some major health risks, like asthma attacks, bronchitis, even heart problems.

"Those fine smoke particles actually go right through your lungs and into your bloodstream," Dick said, "and so they can cause problems for people with heart disease as well."

For those who have to burn during a yellow code, here are some tips for clean burning:

-Use only dry, seasoned wood.

-Build small, hot fires instead of large, smoldering ones.

-Give the fire a generous air supply.

-Never burn trash, newspapers or magazines.

To check the code each day, call (775) 785-4110 or click here.

Written by Arianna Bennett
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