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It is my impression as a scientist working in this industry that shutting down the last 40,000 acres of field burning will likely do very little to reduce the amount of smoke breathed by people in western Oregon - simply because most of the smoke in lower levels of the atmosphere in late summer comes from wildfires in Oregon, Washington, and California, while smoke in the winter comes from our fireplaces and is trapped by thermal inversions. Do the proponents of the total ban on field burning have any evidence that there will be a measurable improvement in human health brought on by their proposed ban? I would be astonished if the smoke from field burning amounted to more than 1 to 3% of the total smoke enhaled by Oregonians over an average year. I'm not claiming that that 1 to 3% might not injure some individuals, I'm just rather dubious that anybody will be able to detect differences in human health outcomes attributable to ending the last of the field burning. I certainly don't expect the skies to be much clearer in August.
posted 4 years, 1 month ago
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