Environmental regulators issue health watch for extreme dust in metro Phoenix

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PHOENIX — Maricopa County is putting restrictions on any open burning activities because of an air quality health watch issued by state environmental regulators.

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality says wood-burning fireplace activity or open burning will not be permitted in the county. The restriction applies even to individuals or businesses with burn permits.

The agency says particulate matter levels may surpass the federal health standards for air quality.

Regulators are advising people to avoid activities that stir up dust such as driving on dirt roads and using gas-powered lawn and garden equipment.

Any children or adults with asthma should reduce heavy outdoor exertion.

Regulators also urge residents to drive as little as possible.

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