Dramatically improved air quality in the Valley air basin this winter resulted in fewer residential wood-burning curtailments than during the previous Check Before You Burn season, according to the Valley Air District.
The annual wintertime program that reduces dangerous particle pollution ended its 10th season late last week. During the 2012-13 season, there were 187 curtailments District-wide (Madera, Merced, Fresno, Kings, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Tulare and the Valley portion of Kern counties). This compares to 381 curtailments during the 2011-12 season, representing a decrease of more than 50 percent Valley-wide.
There were six curtailments in Madera County during the 2012-13 season, compared to 41 in the previous season, officials said.
There were just three days during this winter when air quality was “unhealthy” in any county, compared to 41 such days last winter. Also, the number of days when air quality was rated “unhealthy for sensitive groups” decreased by 54 percent over last winter...