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What is a Red Day Advisory?

Red Days are typically caused by air stagnation from little to no wind or rain to sweep pollutants out of our airshed.


RED DAY ADVISORY

This means smoke from wood burning is banned. There are only a handful of days in the year when red advisories are issued. However, it is critical to comply with the smoke ban at this time because it means the air quality is so poor that it can have major adverse health effects on you, your family, and your neighbors. 

You may only use your wood stove or fireplace during a red day advisory IF you can produce a fire without any visible smoke, or have an approved exemption letter from the City of Oakridge or LRAPA. In order to burn without visible smoke, you’ll need to check your smoke opacity and make adjustments in order to burn efficiently.


HOW TO BURN PROPERLY

  1. Start with with a crumpled newspaper base

  2. Lay a decent amount of kindling on top of the newspaper. Allow for air flow pockets by  laying the kindling horizontally then vertically on top of each other.

  3. Using dry seasoned wood, layer the medium pieces perpendicular on top of the last layer of kindling.

  4. Ignite the paper, ensuring you keep the door and dampers open as the fire builds.

  5. Once you’ve started your fire, go outside and look at the opacity (transparency) of the smoke near the mouth of the chimney.


HOW TO CHECK SMOKE OPACITY

  1. Vantage Point: Get a good vantage point to ensure the sun is behind you with the smoke against a dark backdrop, like trees or a neighbor’s roof. If the sun is behind the chimney, the backlight will make the smoke look much thicker. The lighter the smoke, the lower the opacity. The smoke from the chimney should be almost invisible with heat waves. This indicates the fire is burning on high heat with plenty of airflow.

  2. Light Wispy Smoke: If the smoke looks thick, try opening the dampers more. This will also increase the heat output from your wood stove. You should be able to see the background through light, wispy smoke. If it's hard to see the dark background, you may be over the 20% opacity limit.

  3. Make Adjustments: If the chimney smoke still looks like it’s thick and billowing, try opening the dampers more and ensure you are burning dry, seasoned firewood that's under 20% moisture content.


WHEN YOU’RE OVER THE LIMIT YOU CAN AFFECT THE HEALTH OF VULNERABLE COMMUNITY MEMBERS. OAKRIDGE-WESTFIR CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS CAN FINE HOUSEHOLDS $500 FOR BEING IN VIOLATION OF AIR QUALITY STANDARDS.


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