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The 3 Colors of Air Quality Advisory Season

Everyone benefits from improving the quality of the air we breathe.

During the 2018-19 Air Quality Advisory Season — from November 1 through March 1 — the City of Hillsboro, the City of Cornelius, and Washington County ask for your help to reduce air emissions of fine particulates, called PM 2.5, which can pose serious health concerns.

Outdoor Burning Prohibitions

Since 2016, Hillsboro has prohibited burning yard debris on residential properties at all times, year round. This ban does not apply to recreational fires, such as backyard fire pits, chimineas, or barbecues.

Yard debris burning is prohibited on residential properties at all times, year-round. The ban does not apply to recreational fires, such as backyard fire pits, chimineas, or barbecues.

Traffic light symbolizing red, yellow, and green air quality stagesIndoor Burning Restrictions

Between November 1 and March 1, Washington County issues a daily air quality advisory.

RED: Air quality is unhealthy. No fireplace or wood stove use, unless exempted.*

YELLOW: Air quality is unhealthy for sensitive groups. Voluntary limitations on fireplace and wood stove use.

GREEN: Air quality is healthy. No restrictions.

*Exempted from this indoor burning policy are:

  • Pellet stoves
  • Households experiencing an interruption in utility service (electricity and natural gas)
  • Households that qualify as low-income
  • Households with extended interruptions to their primary heating system (no more than 60 days)
  • Households that rely on wood burning as their only heat source

Sign up to receive color-coded air quality text/email/phone notifications from Washington County on the Public Alerts website.

Washington County’s Wood Stove Exchange program offers rebates of up to $3,500 for the replacement of an old or uncertified wood stove with a cleaner heating device. Get more information on Washington County's Wood Stove Exchange webapge. You can also call 503-681-6191 or visit the City's Air Quality page.

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