Questions Posted to "Ask a Dispatcher"
Q. Since today was such a nice day I wanted to take advantage of it and burn some wood scraps I had laying around. An officer came by and told me I had to put my fire out. I am wondering why since there was not an air emergency in effect?
Dear Juneau Resident,
You have probably noticed that we have reached that time of the year in Juneau when woodsmoke tends to hang in the air. Usually it happens just in time to mask the smell of all those holiday turkeys and hams but before you start hearing all those ads about calling the burn line before lighting your woodstove. While all of the above are predictable developments, many people don't realize that in the Mendenhall Valley and Lemon Creek area, all open burning is prohibited from November 1st to March 31st. That is why you were asked to put out your fire.
The Community Service officers here at JPD do their best to keep Juneau from going to a 'no-burn' or air emergency status for woodstoves by stopping prohibited burning by people doing some fall cleanup around their properties. Only so much air pollution is allowed so use of woodstoves can continue further into the winter depending on how much open burning is stopped during the November 1st to March 31st period.
Once we reach an air pollution level that woodstove use is restricted, residents need to remember to call 586-5333 or check the CBJ website prior to firing up the stove.