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.


Burn Dry Seasoned Firewood & Get a Moisture Meter

Thursday, January 28, 2016 - 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


Grant Funding for Wood Stove Replacement/Removal

Monday, February 01, 2016 - The Southwest Clean Air Agency (SWCAA) is happy to announce that we are, once again, offering grant funding to property owners within the Vancouver Urban Growth Area who wish to replace old freestanding wood stoves and wood-burning fireplace inserts which are no longer approved for new installations by the Washington Department of Ecology. Those who are eligible for the program can receive up to $4,000, in the form of an Instant Credit voucher, to aid in the replacement of their non-approved heating device.

In addition to the "replacement" program, SWCAA is also offering monetary payments to property owners who are willing to remove an old wood stove or fireplace insert, but do not need to replace it with anything (i.e., the home already has another source of heat which can replace the removed stove). Participants in this option of our wood stove program will receive a payment of $250 for removing and delivering their non-approved heating device to the participating metal recycler.

The program is active at this time and will expire on June 30, 2017, or when grant funding is exhausted, whichever occurs first. APPLY TODAY!


Are You Using Seasoned Firewood?

Monday, February 01, 2016 - 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.

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