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, May 26, 2012

Still here, still smoky

I received this email from a reader.


I noticed that you haven't updated your North Saint Paul fire blog in a few months. I was curious if the situation in the city improved due to new burning restrictions, etc, or if you just decided to hang up your blogging gloves.

I hope all is well!

Thank you for your email and good wishes.  I am doing fine.  Burning season started early this year as a result of summery temperatures in March.  I don't have reason to start daily updates until April of most years.  After the warm spell in March, temperatures dropped and we had some rain and the smoke pollution from all the burning became less severe.  The time commitment to maintain this blog is little if updated regularly.  Minutes a day is all it takes.  Having not updated for almost two months, it is going to take some time to get current.  I keep a notebook with shorthand notes about the wood smoke pollution conditions we experience on our property.  I'll go through it and put it all on the blog soon.  I received an email from a resident living near Casey Park I will respond to as well.

The city council has done nothing about the wood smoke pollution and they will not.  Council member Bob Bruton supports recreational wood burning and he cares not about the health risks we endure breathing heavy smoke pollution on a regular basis, not to mention the discomfort and nuisance of breathing the smoky air.  Council member Jan Walczak's neighbors burn.  There are six illegal yard waste burners within a half block north and south of her house on Helen St. that I have noticed burning grass and leaves the past couple of years as I passed down the road.  She isn't going to do anything about the smoke pollution.  If I notice her neighbors illegally burning yard waste passing down her street, she has to notice it, too, living in the middle of it.  Last night's wood smoke was so heavy we could smell it coming in the house with all the windows closed.  Until you experience it you will not appreciate how polluted the air is here in North St. Paul.  You cannot breathe the air.  Your lungs resist your efforts to draw in air.  Step outside for a few seconds and your clothes reek of wood smoke.  It is that bad.

Blogspot updated the user interface for the blog.  I am not happy with it.  It is difficult to use and a little screwy.  I will have to figure out how to make the most of it.  There are changes I wanted to make to the blog.  I want to make it wider so the posts do not appear to be so long.  I would also like to put a slideshow near the top with images of clouds of smoke I photograph here in the city.  I have to condense some of the text near the top as it has become a bit much.  It will take time to do these things.

Wood smoke pollution isn't going anywhere in North St. Paul, MN.  As long as people are allowed to burn seven days a week, people will be burning seven days a week.  If it isn't raining, our air is going to be smoky almost every evening this summer.  As it has been for many years now.