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Albuquerque residents asked to limit use of wood-burning fireplaces and stoves, unless the device is EPA-approved, through 11 a.m. Dec. 13, 2012

Issue Time

11 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012

The Environmental Health Department has issued a Yellow Burn Alert for the Albuquerque Metropolitan area. Meteorological conditions may result in poor dispersion of smoke tonight and Thursday morning.

Effective Period

The Yellow Burn Alert will be in effect for the following period:

11 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012 through 11 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012.

Yellow Alert Causes

The Yellow Burn Alert reflects potential negative impact to air quality from elevated particulate pollution, due to the very dry air mass over central New Mexico. Temperatures will drop off quickly after sunset today. The nighttime inversion will form unusually fast this evening which will trap smoke from residential wood burning and any open burning near the surface. Furthermore winds may be nearly calm this evening resulting in stagnation.

By Thursday afternoon, a gentle breeze will help to break up the stagnation and reduce particulate pollution levels.

For this reason, the Environmental Health Department recommends limiting the use of wood burning fireplaces and stoves unless the device is EPA approved. Alternative forms of transportation are also encouraged. Such limitations are encouraged, but not mandatory, and are not subject to enforcement action.

Risk Populations

Those individuals who are the most at risk from elevated particulate pollution are:

  • People with respiratory or cardiovascular disease;
  • Children;
  • Elderly people.

Precautionary Steps

  • Limit physical exertion outdoors;
  • Pay attention to your respiratory condition;
  • Be vigilant about asthma management;
  • Make sure your medications are on hand and follow your physician’s advice for your health care;
  • Consider alternative activities or move the activity indoors if possible.
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