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.

A Burn Ban is in effect for:
Clark County • Cowlitz County • Lewis County • Skamania County • Wahkiakum County 


Notice of Rule Updates - SWCAA 400

Wednesday, August 17, 2016 - The Southwest Clean Air Agency (SWCAA) is proposing to make changes to SWCAA 400 "General Regulations for Air Pollution Sources." The purpose of the rulemaking is to: meet EPA federal enforceability requirements, provide consistency with Department of Ecology rules, update definitions; delete obsolete rule language; update NESHAP, MACT and NSPS adoptions; revise/expand source category specific requirements; revise emission testing/monitoring requirements; revise public involvement provisions; and make minor administrative edits.

The proposed rule changes are available for public review and written comment at:

The documents can also be obtained from Wess Safford at (360) 574-3058, ext 126. Please address all comments to SWCAA at 11815 NE 99th Street, Suite 1294, Vancouver, WA 98682. To be considered, comments must be received by August 26, 2016.

A hearing to consider adoption of the proposed rule changes will be held at 3:00 PM on September 1, 2016 at the SWCAA Board of Directors meeting at SWCAA's office located at 11815 NE 99th Street, Suite 1294, Vancouver, WA 98682.


Are You Using Seasoned Firewood?

Monday, August 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.

5 Recreational Fire Reminders

Friday, July 01, 2016 - 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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