The Southwest Clean Air Agency (SWCAA) is responsible for enforcing federal, state and local outdoor air quality standards and regulations in Clark, Cowlitz, Lewis, Skamania and Wahkiakum counties of southwest Washington state. Our mission is to preserve and enhance air quality in southwest Washington.

(Outdoor burning is permanently banned in all urban growth areas)
Clark County  No Burn Ban is in Effect   More Info 
Cowlitz County  No Burn Ban is in Effect   More Info 
Lewis County  No Burn Ban is in Effect   More Info 
Skamania County  No Burn Ban is in Effect   More Info 
Wahkiakum County  No Burn Ban is in Effect   More Info 


Burn Dry Seasoned Firewood & Get a Moisture Meter

Tuesday, December 16, 2014 - When you burn dry, seasoned wood, you use less wood for the same amount of heat, you produce far less smoke and you keep your fireplace or wood stove in better working condition with less creosote build up.

When you burn unseasoned (green) or even partially seasoned wood in your fireplace or wood stove it can create lots of smoke and cause creosote build-up in your chimney which could lead to a chimney fire.

By taking the Burn Dry Seasoned Firewood Pledge, you commit to the following:

  • You pledge to only burn firewood that has been split, stacked and dried for at least 6 months to a moisture content of 20% or less.

  • You pledge to join our e-mail list to stay informed about Air Pollution Advisories, Fire Safety Burn Bans and receive e-notifications when a Wood Stove / Fireplace Curtailment (Burn Ban) is in effect.

  • You pledge to always check before you burn to see if a Burn Ban is in effect. If a Burn Ban is in effect, you pledge to not burn (unless wood is your only adequate source of heat) until local air quality returns to healthy levels and the ban is lifted.

To redeem the Southwest Clean Air Agency offer for a free electronic wood moisture meter, follow this link for your Southwest Clean Air Agency Burn Dry Seasoned Firewood Pledge form. Quantities are limited, be sure to take the Pledge today.

Click for the Southwest Clean Air Agency Burn Dry Seasoned Firewood Pledge Form


Manage Indoor Humidity to Prevent Mold & Mildew

Sunday, December 21, 2014 - It happens often here in the Northwest. When warm moist air inside homes settles on chilly surfaces such as glass windows or outer walls, you get condensation. Water runs down the window panes or moisture collects on other surfaces, and that can contribute to dry rot, mold and mildew problems.

Industry research shows that visible indoor mold and mildew may be present in as many as one-third of all Northwest homes. Most vulnerable are older houses with single-pane, metal-framed windows, those with blinds and drapes that are often closed, homes with high indoor relative humidity, and multifamily and manufactured housing. But mold and mildew can occur in both new and older structures.

Click to read tips for managing indoor humidity

Keep Your Home Safe From Chimney Fires

Monday, December 01, 2014 - As temperatures drop, many people start using their fireplaces and stoves to stay warm. Chimney fires occur when built-up creosote within the chimney catches fire. Creosote is a byproduct of burning wood and other combustibles and is very flammable.

Brick and mortar and metal pipe chimneys designed to convey heat and smoke out of the fireplace are not designed to contain a creosote fire. Creosote fires inside a chimney can burn through the mortar between the bricks and enter the structure, or it can overheat a stove pipe to the extent that it "cooks" the wood around it, making it even more flammable. Sparks and embers from the creosote fire within the chimney can also float down to the roof shingles and gutters, where there may be flammable leaves or pine needles.

Chimney fires can be prevented with regular inspection and cleaning. Property owners are encouraged to have their chimneys inspected once a year and cleaned as needed, based on the results of your inspection. Chimney inspection and cleaning services can be found by searching on-line or using the yellow pages.

Also, the wood you burn should be well seasoned and dry. The moisture and sap in green wood causes more smoke, robs your stove of efficiency and encourages more creosote deposits in your chimney. A smokey chimney is more prone to creosote deposits than a smoke free chimney.

Keep your home and family safe this winter!


Top 10 Cleaner Wood Burning Tips

Thursday, January 01, 2015 - Winter is the perfect time for enjoying a fire in your Woodstove or Fireplace. These reminders will help make your burning more efficient, safe and neighborhood friendly.

  • Build small, hot fires. Do not add too much fuel at one time.

  • Step outside and check the chimney or flue. If you can see smoke, your fire may need more air.

  • Read and follow your stove manufacturers instructions.

  • Do not bank the stove full of wood and damper down the air supply. This wastes wood, produces air pollution, promotes creosote build-up and yields little heat.

  • Do not damper down too far. Allow enough air to reach the wood.

  • Make sure your stove is the right size for your home.

  • Do not burn in moderate temperatures. You will be tempted to damper down to reduce the heat which wastes wood and creates air pollution.

  • Do not burn when air currents carry your smoke to your neighbors property.

  • Burn only dry, seasoned firewood. Garbage, paper, plastics or any household debris is illegal to burn in the State of Washington.

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