A Don’t Light Tonight advisory has been declared for Davis on Tuesday, and residents are asked to refrain from burning wood.
Wood smoke has serious health impacts, especially for children, the elderly and those with lung ailments, a Yolo-Solano Air Quality District spokesman said. Certain meteorological conditions that typically lead to increased air pollution from wood smoke are forecast, triggering the advisory. For more information, visit ysaqmd.org/wood.
The city of Davis’ new wood-burning ordinance allows any “reasonable person” who is bothered by a neighbor’s wood smoke to call up the city’s code enforcement detail and file a nuisance complaint. If it’s determined that the offender is, in fact, causing a public nuisance, and the smoke is visible, the city can initiate enforcement procedures, which eventually would include citations.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the less efficiently a fire burns, the more visible smoke — and harmful particles — it produces.
Davis exempts individuals burning wood with a wood-pellet burning device or an EPA Phase II-certified wood-burning appliance or fireplace, as those apparatuses burn cleaner than traditional wood-burners.
Last burn season, the council approved an ordinance that allowed code enforcement officials to respond only to complaints filed on Don’t Light Tonight days. With this regulation, filed under the city’s nuisance ordinance, “reasonable” residents can complain any day.