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Fairbanks borough urges residents to heat with oil, not wood

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Posted: Saturday, December 1, 2012 12:28 am

FAIRBANKS — The Fairbanks North Star Borough Air Quality Division is asking North Pole residents to switch away from wood and heat with oil, if possible, to combat the ongoing unhealthy air conditions that have been plaguing the area.

The request was detailed in a press release Friday afternoon, following up on a Thursday night community meeting in North Pole.

Air Quality Manager Jim Conner estimated a 2,000-square-foot home would use about 2.5 gallons of heating oil per day, costing about $10 per household daily.

He said he understood not every one can afford to switch to oil, but said that despite the inversion, the smoke is something created by people.

“It’s really our problem,” he stated in the release. “We create it when we burn wood. We can reduce it if we have an alternative fuel source on bad days.”

The suggestion is voluntary, but the borough administration has considered developing an economic incentive for switching.

If residents participate in the switch, they are asked to contact the Air Quality Division so the statistics can be recorded.

Contact Matt Buxton at 459-7544 or follow him on Twitter: @FDNMpolitics.

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