By Mark Wilson
I dropped off a friend near a Davis Elementary school this morning about 9 AM.
The smell of toxic fireplace woodsmoke was pervasive, especially after the car door was opened. I had to leave my coat outside after arriving home. Someone nearby was burning something other than wood.
This screenshot at the Fire and Smoke map at airnow.gov seems to confirm the presence of particulate matter (PM 2.5) at the yellow (moderate) level near the school. Time was 9:25 AM. On Feb 1, 2023.
Many, in one of the most socially conscious cities on the planet, still feel they should produce toxic woodsmoke, even after the Yolo Air Quality Management District issued a “Don’t Light Tonight” on Tuesday.
Moderate levels may persist during the school’s first recess but chances are no one will even consider keeping the children inside. It’s not wildfire smoke.
If a nearby multinational corporation dumped this very same toxic woodsmoke pollution on the City of Davis, the streets would fill with protesters. However, despite the obvious harm based on established science, toxic fireplace woodsmoke gets a “pass.” There is a reason new homes don’t have fireplaces.
The primal need to see fire and extract an ancient comfort is more important than good public health policy.
The Bay Area has enacted fireplace bans when PM 2.5 is high—obviously our Yolo lungs are physiologically different.
Davis’ toxic woodsmoke pollution is complimented by the city’s stone knives/bear claws traffic signaling system which enables persistent stop-and-go billowing of big-rig diesel exhaust into your neighborhoods. Covell Ave. is a primary example.
Please keep racking up the happy-shiny environmental awards and impressive climate action plans while this harmful winter pollution persists in your neighborhoods. It’s clear the effect on children’s brains and bodies from toxic fireplace woodsmoke doesn’t have a global flavor so it’s a non-starter.
Of course, going after toxic fireplace woodsmoke produced by constituents take political courage.
Please become more literate regarding this harmful winter pollution in your city and this county. The science is old and obvious.
https://fire.airnow.gov/ Search for Davis, CA.
Mark Wilson lives in Winters, CA