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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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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.

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