Arrow-right Camera

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Partly Cloudy Day 40° Partly Cloudy
News >  Spokane

Don’t burn downed trees, Spokane clean air agency says

From staff reports

With many Spokane residents still without power, the abundance of downed trees might look like a ready source of fuel for wood stoves or fireplaces.

But the Spokane Regional Clean Air Agency recommends against burning green, wet wood. It won’t provide much heat value, and its combustion will produce higher levels of creosote buildup in chimneys, said Lisa Woodard, the agency’s spokeswoman.

Wood moisture content should be 20 percent or less for an ideal burn.

Otherwise, “the energy goes into burning off the moisture instead of putting out heat,” Woodard said.

Wood pellets, manufactured logs or sellers of seasoned firewood are options for homeowners who need the heat, she said.

Windstorm debris may be taken to local transfer stations and the Waste-to-Energy facility. Or, it can be cut, stacked and seasoned for a future heating season.

The forecast calls for cold, clear and calm weather over the next several days, which could lead to a buildup of wood smoke pollution, Woodard said. On Thursday, the air quality was listed as moderate in Spokane.

“If wood is not your only source of heat, consider cutting back on burning so that those who are relying on wood heat due to the lack of power can stay warm and our air quality does not suffer too much,” agency officials said in a news release.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter

Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.

Annual health and dental insurance enrollment period open now

 (Courtesy Washington Healthplanfinder)

2020 has been a stressful year for myriad reasons.