Pollution from outdoor burning can pose a threat to public health and the environment, especially in Oregon's more populated areas. Using fire to clear land and dispose of debris is a major source of complaints to health departments and environmental agencies.
All smoke contains harmful pollutants, some of which are toxic. These pollutants can harm your family's and neighbors' health and the environment. This pollution doesn't stay on your property. It drifts away and other people suffer. Air quality is also adversely affected when temperature layers turn upside down and trap air pollutants in the valley floor. Because smoke is usually close to the ground, it is breathed before it disperses. The small particles of smoke such as tars, soot and toxins can affect healthy adults but are especially harmful to sensitive individuals. Perhaps you know someone who has asthma, emphysema, bronchitis, pneumonia or allergies. They'll tell you how smoke makes breathing especially difficult. The elderly, people with lung problems and pregnant or nursing women may suffer more serious health effects.