Unfortunately, as with many major metropolises, Phoenix suffers from air pollution. In addition to vehicle exhaust and general production output, Phoenix also has a high amount of measurable dust in the air. Since the city is located within a valley, the air pollution is trapped by the surrounding mountain ranges. The lingering cloud above of the Phoenix metropolitan area is known as the brown cloud. The brown cloud has dissipated somewhat over the past ten years, and currently is not as noticeable as it once was, due to measures implemented to limit increasing air pollution.
The Maricopa County Air Quality Department posts daily air quality status, alerts, and other information. On days of high pollution levels, a No Burn Day may be announced. On these days, no woodburning is allowed, including in fireplaces, outdoor pits, or open outdoor fires. To find out about No Burn Days, refer to the county's Clean Air website, or sign up for alerts.