A health watch that went into effect Christmas Eve and prompted no-burn warnings for two straight days has been lifted.
Arizona health officials anticipated a high level of soot in the air from fireplaces, so the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality issued an air quality health watch for Tuesday and Christmas Day.
As a result, no-burn days were issued by the Maricopa County Air Quality Department for Tuesday and Christmas Day in the event of a health watch or high-pollution advisory.
County inspectors drove around county neighborhoods looking for violators of the ban on burning, especially during Christmas celebrations.
"We do have a list of places to go check out and look for specifics," said Mern Metcalf, an inspector with Maricopa County. "We get complaints that neighbors see their neighbor burning."
Bob Huhn with Maricopa County Air Quality said the enforcement went well and the numbers were lower than expected.
As of Friday, There were 313 canvassing letters sent out and 32 unconfirmed letters, meaning they had the addresses but had not confirmed burning, according to Huhn.
A health watch means that the concentration of Particulate Matter 2.5 (soot) approaches the federal health standard.
ADEQ recommends that unusually sensitive people, such as people with heart or lung disease, older adults and children, should reduce prolonged activity or heavy exertion, especially when outdoors.
A high-pollution advisory would extend such precautions to the general population.
The Maricopa County Trip Reduction program and Valley Metro Business Services requested that employers activate their high-pollution advisory plans.
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