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Government Forbids Basic Need

It’s cold outside. You gather wood from the pile. The cords were more expensive this year. Hopefully, this will get your family through the winter. You crumple up sections of today’s newspaper. Something catches your eye (subscription):

If the sky seems a little grayer this month, it isn’t your imagination.

Smoke from fireplaces and wood-burning stoves is boosting the level of pollutants over Albuquerque, making the sky hazy and irritating many people’s lungs and eyes.

The second red alert of the winter could be on its way today, depending on weather conditions, said Jeff Stonesifer, a city meteorologist. Wood burning is not permitted during a red alert.

High energy prices are apparently prompting many residents to use their fireplaces more this year to heat their homes, officials said.

“There clearly is an increase in wood burning in our community,” said Alfredo Santistevan, Albuquerque’s director of environmental health.

Controlled burns in the Santa Fe National Forest may also be boosting the level of pollution from wood smoke.

The government is doing a controlled burn. Your family sleeps without heat. Oh yeah, this makes sense.