Press Release: ‘Don’t Light Tonight’ Starts November 1st

For the pdf version of the press release, please click here.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                            Contact: Jenny Tan, Public Information Officer
October 25, 2017
(530) 757-3657 | jtan@ysaqmd.org

‘Don’t Light Tonight’ Starts November 1st

(Davis, CA) – The Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management District announces that Wednesday, November 1 is the start of the 2017-2018 ‘Don’t Light Tonight’ season which runs until the end of February.

The District will issue voluntary advisories asking residents to refrain from burning wood or using their wood stoves or fireplaces on days when particulate matter (PM) is forecast to reach 25 micrograms or higher. Areas covered in the advisory include of all of Yolo County and portions of Solano County that encompass Dixon, Vacaville and Rio Vista.

From November through February, weather conditions and the elevated use of fireplaces and wood stoves raises the levels of fine particulate matter in the air and traps wood smoke closer to the ground and the air people breathe. PM2.5 is one of many pollutants in wood smoke and is very harmful to human health because its smaller size, about thirty times thinner than a strand of hair, can easily bypass the human body’s natural defenses and travel to the lungs causing short term health effects like coughing and sneezing and worsen existing conditions such as asthma and heart disease.

“We can all help protect the air this winter,” said the District’s Air Pollution Control Officer Mat Ehrhardt. “By checking for ‘Don’t Light Tonight’ advisories and choosing not to burn, we can improve the air quality for our loved ones and neighbors.”

During the 2016-2017 ‘Don’t Light Tonight’ season 11 advisories were issued. An unusually wet winter allowed pollutants to be more easily dispersed into the atmosphere and resulted in cleaner air quality on many days. The District also ran a community wood smoke survey last season that had more than 1400 survey participants throughout the District. Out of those participants, 969 people said they have a fireplace or woodstove that they use at least a few times a year. Additionally, more than 86% of participants said they have smelled smoke in their neighborhood during the winter but only 28% believed winter wood smoke in their neighborhood negatively impacts their quality of life.

Fine particulates from wood smoke can cause breathing problems for many residents, such as the young and elderly, and exacerbate existing conditions for those with respiratory ailments. Many people don’t realize that if you smell smoke, you’re breathing it.

There are four ways residents can sign up to receive or check for ‘Don’t Light Tonight’ advisories:

  • Sign up for the District’s EnviroFlash service at: http://ysaqmd.enviroflash.org/ that will send an email alert when an advisory is called.
  • Call (530) 757-3787 for a recorded message with the daily ‘Don’t Light Tonight’ status.
  • Visit the District’s website at: ysaqmd.org where a ‘Don’t Light Tonight’ graphic will appear underneath the Air Quality Index widget on the front page.
  • Check the District’s Facebook or Twitter account for advisories.

For more information about the Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management District, including signing up for air quality alerts and the monthly e-newsletter, visit: www.ysaqmd.org. Connect with the District on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/YoloSolanoAir or on Twitter at: www.twitter.com/YoloSolanoAir.

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