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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Saturday, August 22, 2009

Saturday 08/22/2009 Air Pollution

Welcome to hell on earth. This evening is the worst for wood smoke I have ever experienced in North St. Paul. Wood smoke was literally everywhere in the northern half of the city. The wood smoke in some places was so heavy it was like driving through a fog. I have been to several campgrounds in my day and have never experienced wood smoke like I have tonight.

1:15 AM: Light wood smoke continues.

2:30 AM: Light to moderate wood smoke. It has gotten smokier in the last hour. It's not unusual for North St. Paul to get smokier at 2:30 AM. It is 57 degrees outside at this time. Nice and cool. Sure would be nice to have the windows open, BUT WE CAN'T! We'd have to breathe smoky air in bed. Nobody around us is burning at this hour. I do not know where it is coming from. It could be a burner blocks away with the breeze bringing it right here. People do not understand that wood smoke does not stay confined to the property lines of the burner. It can be detected a half-mile or further from the source. I know because I've tracked it that far.

4:45 AM: Faint wood smoke continues.

9:00 AM: Very faint trace of wood smoke remains in the air.

9:30 AM: I passed by the area of 18th & Margaret. It was smoky in that area. Someone is burning wood over there or left a fireplace or bonfire smoldering.

12:45 PM: Very faint trace of wood smoke remains in the air where we are.

2:30 PM: No wood smoke where we are. I passed by 18th & Margaret again. Five hours later it is still smoky in that area. It really stinks. There are two homes for sale on that block between Margaret & Charles. I feel sorry for anyone who buys a home there or anywhere in this smoky city. 75 degrees and sunny at this time.

5:05 PM: Faint wood some for a few minutes. Then it was gone.

6:00 PM: No wood smoke.

7:00 PM: No wood smoke.

8:00 PM: No wood smoke. I can see smoke rising from a block away from us. I can't smell it so I can't say what it is.

9:15 PM: No wood smoke. 62 degrees, cool, very nice.

At this time I went for a drive around the northern half of the city. It didn't take more than a few seconds to find wood smoke. It would be easier to list the few spots that didn't have wood smoke. The wood smoke was everywhere. There were a few pockets of fresh air here and there, but not many. I have never seen the wood smoke so bad as tonight. The wood smoke tonight is worse than it has ever been in the winter. It was smoky all along Silver Lake and all the blocks south. It was smoky by Tower Park, as usual. It was smoky over by 15th & Spirit Drive. It was smoky by Casey Park and the neighborhood to the north. I drove up and down almost every road in the northern half of the city. I could not find more than a few blocks without wood smoke.

The good news is that I found wood smoke in front of the homes of city council members Bob Bruton, Jan Walczak, and Dave Zick. I hope they have their windows open so they can enjoy that smoky air. Inhale those carcinogens deep into your lungs.

I found a few recreational fires. Wood smoke covering the entire city like this has to come from people using fireplaces, too. It is cool tonight, 62 degrees when I was out. Using a fireplace in August? I wouldn't put it past the people in this city. This city is crazy about burning wood. I don't understand why.

Bonfires I saw
  • Indian Way & Chippewa - Someone is having a party at the home on the northwest corner and they have a fire going.
  • 19th & 1st - The guy in the wheelchair at the house on the southeast corner is having a smoky fire. It is a small fire but it puts out the smoke.
  • 17th & Charles - Bonfire second or third house on 17th east of Charles on the south side of the street.
  • 14th & Margaret - Recreational fire at the third or fourth house east of Margaret on the north side of the street.
  • There was one more. I can't read my writing. It is difficult to write in a moving car.
Strong wood smoke

I encountered strong wood smoke everywhere.

Wood smoke fog

I found several areas with wood smoke so heavy it formed a cloud or hung close to the ground like a fog. This is only a partial list.
  • Poplar between Helen & Lake - Could see wood smoke haze in the streetlight.
  • Shoshone & Chippewa - A cloud of horrible smelling smoke extended a half block west on Shoshone from Chippewa and extended all the way east to 2nd. The smoke smelled like a combination of wood, grass, and paper. It was horrible smelling.
  • 17th & Helen - Could see the wood smoke haze in the street lights.
  • 15th & 3rd - The wood smoke hung low like a fog. Could see the wood smoke in the headlights.
  • Gerald & Shawnee - Could see the smoke haze in the streetlight.
  • Helen north of Beam - Could see the smoke haze in the streetlight.
  • Beam & Mary Lane - Could see the smoke haze in the streetlight.
I cannot understand why the city council makes us breathe air this polluted. If you can see the wood smoke, is it good to inhale it into your lungs? Some of that wood smoke smelled so putrid I couldn't stand to breathe the air.

After driving around for a half-hour with the windows open I came back home with my clothes smelling like wood smoke.

10:15 PM: Light wood smoke where we are. Back home now.

10:30 PM: Moderate wood smoke. It's getting smokier quickly.

11:00 PM: Moderate wood smoke continues.

It's going to be a long smoky hell of a night. Can't open the windows for fresh air because there is none to be found anywhere in this city! North St. Paul, MN, is hell on earth.

11:45 PM: Light to moderate wood smoke continues.