Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Log Rack
Preparing Your Wood Stove for Spring and Summer
Spring is here and the weather is warmer, now is the time to inspect and clean your wood burning stove.
Starting from the top inspect your chimney cap if you have a screen mesh on the cap make sure it is in
tact. If you don’t have a screen on the cap you might want to consider putting one on the cap to keep
birds and insects from entering your chimney.

Check your chimney for creosote, after a long hard winter’s burning it is time to clean your chimney.
Thoroughly clean the chimney inspecting your chimney pipe and flue tiles. Take a good look at your black
pipe, after a few years of burning the pipe will need to be replaced. Black chimney pipe will start to
corrode from heat and creosote build up. By squeezing the sides of the pipe if it starts to feel soft then it
needs to be replaced.

Remove all ash from the wood stove firebox. You can use a shop vacuum with a micro filter. Inspect any
moving parts inside your stove such as dampers and inside air controls. It is a good idea to oil these parts
to prevent rust during the summer months. A light coating of oil will help to keep these parts moving. If any
parts need to be replaced now is the time to order them from your local stove shop. It may take a while to
get these parts in and you don’t want to wait till fall to replace them.

Check the fiberglass gasket around the doors and window glass. The gasket is designed to keep your
wood stove air tight. Use the dollar bill test. Open the door and place a dollar bill over the gasket and
close the door. If you can pull out the dollar bill then it is no longer air tight and needs to be replaced.
Worn out gaskets can allow carbon monoxide to leak into your home.

If your wood stove has a firebrick lining inspect them for crumbling. If they are just cracked you don’t have
to replace them. The firebricks sole purpose is to retain and radiate heat. If the firebricks have crumbled
you may want to replace them.

If your wood stove has a catalytic combustor you will want to remove and clean it. If you notice that it is
crumbling it is time to replace it. A worn out catalytic combustor decreases the efficiency of your wood
stove and puts more pollutants into the air.

You might want to consider putting a fresh coat of paint on your wood stove. Make sure you use high
temperature stove paint. Over the years the black paint lightens and turns grey. There are many designer
colors available for wood stoves to match any d├ęcor.

Now that you have thoroughly cleaned and inspected your wood stove you may want to consider putting a
fireplace deodorant into the firebox. During the spring rains moisture will condense in your chimney and
run down the pipe. This will bring the smoke and creosote smell into your home. The fireplace deodorant
lasts a few months and will eliminate the smell.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Amendments to Oregon Smoke Management Plan and the Oregon State Implementation Plan for Air Quality


Oregonians have the chance to comment on the Oregon Smoke Management Plan, a document that outlines ways to manage and minimize the impacts of smoke all across the state. The plan specifically aims to reduce the public health risks caused by prescribed forest burning, while at the same time trying to reduce forest fuels that can cause major wildfires. Each year the Department of Forestry manages approximately 150,000 acres of prescribed forestry burning across the state, much of which in close proximity to populated areas.  Many residents contact DEQ about smoke in their community, and this is an opportunity for people to comment on the proposed changes to the plan.  Some of the proposed changes include:


·         Additional provisions to protect visibility at Crater Lake National Park and the Kalmiopsis Wilderness, both Oregon Class I areas.

·         Additional provisions to encourage greater use of alternatives to burning and emission reduction techniques.

·         Eliminating the La Grande Special Protection Zone and reducing the size of the Medford SPZ boundary.

·         Smoke monitoring for prescribed burns over 2,000 tons.


DEQ and ODF will hold several public hearings at these locations on this rulemaking:


1.      La Grande, Oregon

The La Grande Library, 2006 4th St

Time:  6 p.m.

Date: Tuesday, February 25, 2014


2.      Bend, Oregon

DEQ Eastern Region Office

475 NE Bellevue, Suite 110

Time:  6 p.m.

Date: Wednesday, February 26, 2014


3.      Veneta, Oregon

Lane Fire Authority, 88050 Territorial Hwy

Time:  6 p.m.

Date:  Tuesday, March 4, 2014  


4.      White City, Oregon

Jackson County Roads & Parks, 200 Antelope Rd

Time:  6 p.m.

Date: Wednesday, March 5, 2014


5.      Klamath Falls, Oregon

CU Auditorium, OIT, 3201 Campus Dr.

Time:  6 p.m.

Date: Thursday, March 6, 2014  


Click here to view the rulemaking documents. Oral and written comments will be accepted at the hearing. There will be a brief presentation of the proposal before inviting your spoken or written comment. Written comments may be submitted anytime to DEQ through the online comment forms accessible through the website or as described in the rule packages, but comments must be received no later than 5:00 pm on March 12, 2014.