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   A Burn Ban is in Effect    More Info 
Cowlitz County   A Burn Ban is in Effect    More Info 
Lewis County   A Burn Ban is in Effect    More Info 
Skamania County   A Burn Ban is in Effect    More Info 
Wahkiakum County   A Burn Ban is in Effect    More Info 


SWCAA will be at the Public Safety Complex

Wednesday, September 10, 2014 - See us at the Public Safety Complex at the Clark County Fairgrounds on September 20, 2014 from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. The Public Safety Complex will be featuring automobile extrication demonstrations, Clark County Sheriff's Office K-9 shows, a Life Flight helicopter landing, Chief for a Day program celebration, emergency vehicle displays, and more. It is a community event you don't want to miss.

SWCAA will feature a booth with a hands on activity for the kids and plenty of educational material for everyone.

The Public Safety Complex is located at 505 NW 179th Street, Ridgefield, Washington.

Hope to see you there!

Weather Influences Air Quality

Friday, August 01, 2014 - Weather influences our day-to-day air quality even though emission of pollutants is the source of air quality degradation, the weather largely determines the quality of the air we breathe day-to-day. As air pollution rises vertically and is transported horizontally, the less concentrated it becomes. Here are ways our weather influences our day-to-day air quality.

High Pressure

When a high pressure air mass moves into our region, it is accompanied by "fair" weather: light winds, lack of storms and precipitation with few clouds. High atmospheric pressure can be of particular concern for air quality because the weather conditions it brings usually inhibit motion in the atmosphere, both vertically and horizontally. These weather elements can allow air pollution to build to unhealthy levels.



Are You Using Seasoned Firewood?

Monday, September 01, 2014 - Did you know that freshly chopped firewood has up to 50% water content and won't burn in your fireplace? You must let the firewood season for at least 6 months, which allows the moisture to escape. When the wood gets below 20% water content, it is ready to burn. Do not burn unseasoned (green) or even partially seasoned wood in your wood stove or fireplace as this will create lots of smoke and cause creosote build-up in your chimney which could lead to a chimney fire.

Here are 7 helpful tips for ensuring you are using Seasoned Firewood:

Cut the wood to the right length: The wood you purchased or cut yourself should fit easily in your wood stove or fireplace. It should be about three inches shorter than the firebox width or length.

Split your wood before stacking it: After you determine the proper length, split the wood so it is the right width. This is usually no more than six inches in diameter. Splitting the wood in advance of stacking it increases exposure to air, which improves the drying process.

Check the moisture content: After splitting the firewood, use a moisture meter to check the starting moisture content. The goal is 20 percent moisture content.

Stack your wood in alternate directions: This spacing allows for better air circulation and further reduces moisture content.

Store your firewood off the ground: Build a wood shed or a structure to keep firewood six inches or more off the ground. This will help protect the bottom of the wood pile from moisture.

Cover the top, but leave the sides exposed: The best option is to build a structure that has a roof. You can use a tarp to cover the top of the woodpile. When using a tarp be careful not to have the tarp hang over the sides so moisture is trapped. In warm summer months, you might want to remove the tarp to speed up the drying process.

Store the wood for at least six months: It is hard to wait, but the best way to know you are burning dry wood (short of a moisture meter) is to not burn it for at least six months.

5 Recreational Fire Reminders

Tuesday, July 01, 2014 - Summer is the perfect time for enjoying a Recreational Fire. These reminders will help make your summer fun and safe.

  • Recreational fires must be used solely for recreational purposes and may not be used for disposal of yard debris or any other material. A responsible party must be attending the fire at all times.

  • A Recreational fire is under 3x3x2 and is allowed without a permit. Recreational fires in excess of 3x3x2 need a special written permit from SWCAA.

  • Only charcoal or seasoned firewood (not lumber) may be used as fuel for a Recreational fire. A very small amount of paper may be used to start the fire.

  • Recreational fires may not cause a smoke or odor nuisance to surrounding properties.

  • Recreational fires must be fully extinguished and cool to the touch before leaving them unattended.
If you need further information please contact SWCAA at (360) 574-3058 x 110.

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