Recreational Fires Must Be Eliminated

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The air is smoky from burning wood in North St. Paul, MN, almost every evening. It is a nightmare. What used to be a nice place to live has become a living hell.

WARNING: If you buy a house in North St. Paul, MN, you will regret it! It may be the biggest, most expensive mistake you ever make. You will breathe smoky air almost every day of your life in this town. This is not an exaggeration. The wood smoke in this town gets heavy and gets heavy often. When you want to get out of this dump of a town, how many people do you think are going to want to buy a house in a city where heavy air pollution every night is normal and clean air is rare? This blog gets thousands of visitors every year. The word is out: North St. Paul is a horrible place to live!

Fresh air is very rare around here. If you are considering moving to North St. Paul or buying a home here, I strongly recommend that you do not do it no matter how good of a price you get. The only way you will be happy in this town is if you love breathing smoky air almost every day. North St. Paul, MN, is a horrible place to live because of the smoky air!

Burning wood, grass, leaves, paper, cardboard, and sometimes plastic, construction materials, and chemicals, if it is combustible it gets burned in North St. Paul and you are going to breathe it.

The air was smoky 25 out of 31 evenings in July 2009. We had 37 hours of continuous wood smoke in the air Aug. 29th - 31st. There was wood smoke in the air 19 consecutive evenings from Aug. 21st to Sept. 8th. It rained heavily on Aug. 20th, providing the only relief we got from wood smoke for almost three weeks.

Is this a good way to live? No. It is a horrible way to live. Take it from someone who knows. Breathing smoky, polluted air every day is misery.

Every day in this city several people are having recreational fires. Every evening the air is filled with the stench of burning wood. I am one person sick and tired of breathing smoky air every day. Is it too much to ask to be able to breathe fresh air in your own home?

Who is responsible for this wood smoke nightmare? The four city council members are responsible. Council members Jan Walczak, Bob Bruton, Terry Furlong, and Dave Zick have refused to do anything about this wood smoke problem. They don't care if you have a child with asthma. They don't care if you have to live like a shut-in because the air is so polluted. They don't care if your sinuses burn because the wood smoke is so heavy.

Our four Council members have defended the rights of a small percentage of households to burn wood daily over the rights of all the rest of us to breathe.

You have no right to breathe under Walczak, Bruton, Furlong, and Zick. Burners have the right to burn wood 49 hours a week recreationally. The rest of us have no rights at all.

If you are considering purchasing real estate in the city of North Saint Paul, Minnesota (55109), factor this blog carefully into your decision. Buying a home in this city means that your kids will breathe smoky air while playing in the yard almost every day. Your baby will breathe smoky air in her crib should you leave the windows open around your house. If you leave your windows open you will wake up in the middle of the night choking on smoky air.

Perhaps worst of all, your utility rates will be high because you will have to run the air conditioner instead of leaving the windows open on a cool summer evening. You have no other choice because almost every night the air is too smoky to breathe in this city. Consider this blog your warning.

North St. Paul, Minnesota, is a wonderful community other than the wood smoke. If we could restore fresh air like we used to enjoy, life would be happy again. But that is not going to happen any time soon.

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Monday, April 13, 2009

Monday 04/13/2009 Burning

6:30 PM: Very smoky outside at this time. I had the window open to vent kitchen heat. Had to close it because the air outside was so smoky. It was very smoky for about half-an-hour after which the smokiness was gone.

Maplewood Burning

Northern Maplewood was very smoky this evening. I was at the corner of Lydia & McKnight at about 8:15 PM this evening. The air was very smoky in this area. Ever the sleuth, I wanted to track down the source of the burning. I proceeded up Lydia toward Helen/Bellaire. The smokiness got more intense the closer I got to the intersection. The smoke in this area was so strong my sinuses were burning and my nose was watering. It was terrible. I had to blow my nose at the corner. I was not able to pinpoint the precise location of the burning, but it was in the vicinity of Lydia & Helen/Bellaire. My assumption is that someone had a fireplace going when it was 56 degrees outside.

I wanted to relate this example to you readers to illustrate how far smoke can travel. The distance from the source of the smoke (Lydia & Helen/Bellaire) to where I first detected it (Lydia & McKnight) is exactly 1/2 mile. The smoke was a nuisance that entire 1/2 mile distance and probably further than that. Smoke doesn't stay confined to the property of the burner. It can travel a great distance and inconvenience everyone downwind, which could be hundreds of people.

The wind pattern was east to west this evening.

Back to North St. Paul

At about 8:20 PM, I saw a huge plume of smoke rising from the back yard of a house near the corner of Poplar Ave. & Lake Blvd. It was the third house south of the intersection on the west side of the street. A giant cloud of smoke rose above the house. I could not smell the smoke from the street since the wind pattern was east to west. Sometimes grills can create large amounts of smoke for small periods of time. I don't think that was the case here. Directly behind the house on Helen St. the air was heavy with wood smoke. So either that person was burning wood or the neighbor behind him had a fireplace going. My suspicion is that the person on Lake Blvd. had a recreational fire.

To give you another idea of how far smoke can travel, I could smell wood smoke at the intersection of Chippewa & Shoshone. That's nearly 1/2 a mile away and due west of the house on Lake St. with the smoky back yard.

I thought I would try something. When I notice assholes burning and polluting the precious air we all must breathe this year, I am going to put them on a map.

That's the first one I've found for 2009. Each year for the past five years or so has gotten smokier than the year that preceded it. Last year was a miserable, smoky hell. This year will probably be worse.

I started documenting burning this year on 04/09/2009. In the five days since, I've smelled wood or grass smoke all five days. That's a 100% average early in the burning season. This does not bode well for the rest of the year.

Do you see this, Ms. Walczak?

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