Group Of Doctors Seek To Ban All Wood Burning In Urban Areas

October 16, 2013

Residents of Maricopa and Pinal Counties are typically unhappy when officials announce it’s a ‘no burn day.’ That means burning logs in the fireplace is illegal 

But a doctor’s group in Utah is pushing for a complete ban on wood-burning in urban areas, saying wood smoke is more toxic than cigarette smoke. Dr. Brian Moench of Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment says studies suggest wood smoke may contribute up to 40 percent of the particulate pollution in Western cities like Phoenix, Salt Lake City and Seattle.

"We're suggesting that we need to start thinking of wood smoke in the exact same terms as we now think of cigarette smoke in public places, which we have prohibited somewhere around 20 to 25 years ago,” Moench said.

The fine for burning wood on a ‘no burn day’ is $50 for a first violation, $100 after that. Gas fireplace logs are exempt.