Wood Stove Season Sparks Air Quality Concerns

, Written by Lyle Ahrens, Posted: Thu, September 26 2013 at 3:24 PM, Updated: Thu, September 26 2013 at 3:36 PM

Colder mornings have sparked a return to wood stove season in Klamath Falls...and there will be an even stronger focus this winter on air quality.

If Klamath Falls fails to meet air quality guidelines over the next three years, there could be repercussions.

Those restrictions could include more 'red' or 'yellow' wood burning days.

Klamath County Public Health Director Marilynn Sutherland notes there could even be withholding of federal funds for certain projects...

"The other thing is, they could simply place enough restrictions on the development of industry here that makes it very unlikely to be able to attract new business."

Air Quality Coordinator Jim Carey adds that this winter, wood stove users will be asked to use other forms of heat - even when it gets bitterly cold...

"We understand the cold days are when you need it most.  But we are going to ask people if they can help it, not to burn on those days."

Health officials are confident the city can reach attainment.

But Carey notes it will take a community effort...

"So it is a very critical year that we do well."

What do you think? Sound off on our Facebook page and on Twitter, or leave a comment below.

About the Author

Lyle Ahrens

KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970's.  He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.

Lyle's job history is quite colorful.  He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand.  A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90's as a news writer and commercial producer.  In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.

Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience.  "The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain.  Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story".

When he's not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.

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