Solid fuel burning (coal, wood, or pellets) is a significant contributor to the Salt Lake Valley’s air pollution. One fireplace emits as much particle pollution as 90 sport-utility vehicles, and the pollution from one traditional wood-burning stove is equivalent to the amount emitted by 3,000 natural gas furnaces producing the same amount of heat per unit. Even EPA-certified stoves still emit as much pollution as 60 gas furnaces.
Salt Lake County prohibits burning solid fuel in fireplaces or wood burning stoves and bans outdoor fires (including bonfires, patio pits and charcoal grill fires) on days that the State of Utah designates as either mandatory or voluntary air action (no burn) days.
Households that are recognized by the State of Utah as using a solid-fuel stove or fireplace as their sole source of heat are exempt from air-action-day burning bans.
In Salt Lake County, the health department investigates complaints of wood burning on air action days and may issue a notice of violation. Notices of violation can result in penalties up to $299 per day.