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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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sunday 03/18/2012 Air Pollution

A beautiful day, a beautiful evening. That means smoky air.

We enjoyed a little smoke from burning yard waste blowing in the windows intermittently throughout the day with some pretty heavy yard waste and wood smoke this evening. The joys of living in North St. Paul.

10:45 AM: Very faint grass smoke coming in the windows. Somebody is illegally burning yard waste somewhere off in the distance. It is breezy at this time. The smoke comes and goes with the breeze.

11:00 AM: Faint grass smoke coming in the windows. It's a little stronger now. 67 degrees, sunny, beautiful except for the yard waste smoke in the air. I stepped outside to try to determine the direction the smoke is coming from. It was hard to tell as the breeze shifted directions every few seconds. It seemed to be coming out of the west. It came and went for the next half hour or so.

12:22 PM: A very faint trace of some type of smoke is in the air. Likely grass smoke.

1:25 PM: Faint yard waste smoke coming and going with the breeze. It did not last too long.

3:30 PM: A very faint smoke of some type is in the air. Not sure what it is.

4:00 PM: No smoke. Fresh air.

5:00 PM: Fresh air.

6:15 PM: Fresh air continues. 79 degrees and windy.

6:45 PM: A very faint smoke of some type is in the air and coming in the windows. I don't know what it is.

7:15 PM: A very faint smoke of some type continues.

7:18 PM: Light to moderate wood and yard waste smoke flooded into the house. With the wind gusty as it is, the house was filled with the stench of wood and yard waste smoke within seconds. The entire house reeked. Close the windows! The smoke was coming and going on the wind.

I found the source of the yard waste burning. For the third evening in a row a home near Margaret & 19th was burning. On Friday, a home in the area of Margaret & 18th was having a fire and burning tree branches. Last night a home near the corner of Margaret & 19th or the home next door was having a bonfire and burning wood and what smelled like paper. Tonight a home near the corner of Margaret & 19th was burning yard waste. We are a good distance away from that house but the wind filled our house with that smoke like the burning was happening next door. I hope city council members Jan Walczak and Bob Bruton caught some of that yard waste smoke inside their homes. They live closer to the burner than we do.

7:45 PM: Very faint yard waste or some other smoke at this time.

8:30 PM: Light wood smoke at this time coming from the direction of the yard waste burner. It comes and goes as the wind shifts direction.

8:40 PM: Very faint smoke coming from the direction of the yard waste burner.

9:00 PM: No smoke.

9:30 PM: No smoke.

10:00 PM: No smoke. 71 degrees in North St. Paul.

We are tempted to leave a few windows open around the house for some ventilation and to cool the house a little before morning. It's a big risk because you never know when somebody is going to start a bonfire late or do some late night yard waste burning. It happens all the time. There are not many things more infuriating than to wake up at 1 AM to a house full of wood smoke.

The average high temperature for today is 42 degrees. When temperatures return to normal the bonfires should go away until it warms up again in April and May. This smoky weekend is only a sample of what is to come.