Phoenix air quality takes hit as burning continues
Web Producer: Taylor Higgins
PHOENIX (AP) - Maricopa County officials say the Phoenix area exceeded federal air standards for particulates on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year's Day as numerous residents violated restrictions on burning wood.
The Arizona Republic reports that pollution levels were nearly three times higher than the federal standard.
No-burn restrictions are ordered when stagnant air and winter inversions trap pollution close to the ground. The restrictions include prohibitions on burning wood in fireplaces and in outdoor fire pits and chimineas.
County officials say the restrictions are important to protect public health but are difficult to enforce.
They're sending letters to residents asking them to identify the source of smoke that was reported but that inspectors could not track down.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)