Recreational Fires Must Be Eliminated

Do you support clean air? Click the Facebook Like button if you have a Facebook account.


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.

Tell others about this blog!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Friday 05/08/2009 Burning

9:00 PM: It drizzled earlier, there is a little drizzle here and there, and would you believe that it is smoky outside? What is wrong with the people in this city? I felt quite certain there would be no burning tonight given how damp everything is. The air is moderately smoky at this time. Wood smoke is all you can smell outside. It is 52 degrees. Would someone have a fireplace going in May? I would love to leave the window open a crack for some fresh air, but I can't because it is so damn smoky!

I am beginning to hate this city. If anyone out there reading this is considering moving to North St. Paul, DON'T! You will regret it. If the powers that be ever get around to eliminating all the wood burning, then I would recommend moving here. It is an otherwise great town. But if you want to live in North St. Paul, you've got to love the smell of burning wood. Because you are going to smell it every day with very few exceptions.

11:00 PM: No more wood smoke. I know what a grill smells like, and the smoke from earlier was not grill smoke. It was wood. I did smell grill smoke twice earlier, but I don't mind it.

I don't object to grill smoke because the duration of grilling is not that long. I have never experienced smoky air from grilling for periods of six hours or longer the way I have with wood smoke. I do not know anyone who grills every day, either. Grill smoke isn't as much of a nuisance. It doesn't burn my sinuses, make me nauseous, nor does it smoke up an entire neighborhood the way recreational or fireplace burning does. I have a neighbor who likes to grill every weekend. All I have to do is close the windows for 30 minutes or so until he is done.

I don't object to cigarette smoke, either. There is a neighbor down the street who smokes. In the mornings I can sometimes smell the smoke from the cigarette wafting down along the row of houses. The duration is short, only three to five minutes, so it isn't much to complain about. The combustible mass of a cigarette is nothing compared to that of a log. Burning wood creates much more smoke than a tiny little cigarette.

It perplexes me that cigarette smoking is banned indoors in the entire state but the recreational burning of wood is not. I would rather not be inundated with cigarette smoke. If I had a visitor who lit up a cigarette inside the house, he would promptly be ejected. You can avoid cigarette smoke by not going to places where there is smoking. But you cannot avoid wood smoke in this town. It blankets your entire neighborhood. You can't even avoid it in your own home unless you seal up everything air tight.

Something has to be done about the frequent burning of wood. If not during the winter, then certainly from April through October when windows can be opened.