FAIRBANKS — The first Fairbanks resident to receive a ticket under a new borough pollution law came to the Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly meeting last week to explain his wood stove problems to elected officials.
Jack Christiansen lives on Kellum Street near the Raven Landing Senior Community apartment complex. He faces a $100 fine for his wood smoke pollution, which can be waived if he takes a class on proper wood burning.
Christiansen said at Thursday’s meeting he’s having trouble with his stove because its catalytic converter is damaged and he can’t let it cool down to do repairs while it’s cold outside.
“I’m the one that’s sitting on the podium for excessive plume coming out of the wood stove,” he said. “I am a very highly visible situation.”
Christiansen heats his home with a Blaze King Princess wood stove. He received the stove through a borough program that helps residents replace older more-polluting stoves with newer models that are designed to pollute less.
Christiansen said he appreciated the borough making the wood stove program available. But he said his stove isn’t working correctly.
“If you do the process properly, the stove will work. The only situation is I believe if I burn too much of a certain type wood and burn it at a higher octane, it has ruined the combustor inside the stove,” he said.
Borough staff reported last week that Christiansen received the ticket because the borough received complaints about his pollution and because Christiansen banned borough staff from his property and did not return phone calls.
Christensen said Thursday that he’s trying to work with borough staff to improve the emissions from his stove.
He’s looking into options including putting a porch or a semi-truck muffler around his smoke stack, he said. He sounded interested when Borough Assemblyman Lance Roberts told him he may be eligible for another stove upgrade, this time to a pellet stove.
Borough air quality staff didn’t immediately return phone calls on Friday afternoon requesting more information about the status of Christiansen air quality citation.
Contact outdoors editor Sam Friedman at 459-7545. Follow him on Twitter: @FDNMoutdoors.
Correction: This article has been changed to reflect the following correction.
Sunday's article "Recipient of first pollution ticket blames smoke on mechanical problem" misspelled the name of the Jack Christiansen, the man cited for pollution.