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(hack! coff!) El Centro! (hack! coff!)

Dear Matthew:

Could you please tell us if the huge, thick, gray, billowing clouds of smoke that seem to be two to three miles from Interstate 8, between Seeley and El Centro, are set on purpose or not? And if they are, why?

-- Ellen Sumler, San Diego

Smoky El Centro has been a hacking and coughing battleground lately. Since the EPA instituted the Clean Air Act in 1976, the Imperial Valley has been exempt from its provisions, and farmers could continue the practice of burning off harvested fields to prepare for planting. But as a result of a Sierra Club lawsuit, that could be coming to an end next month. The area is also plagued with fires in the huge stacks of baled hay you see in the fields. Most arson, some spontaneous combustion. They can burn for days.

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Dear Matthew:

Could you please tell us if the huge, thick, gray, billowing clouds of smoke that seem to be two to three miles from Interstate 8, between Seeley and El Centro, are set on purpose or not? And if they are, why?

-- Ellen Sumler, San Diego

Smoky El Centro has been a hacking and coughing battleground lately. Since the EPA instituted the Clean Air Act in 1976, the Imperial Valley has been exempt from its provisions, and farmers could continue the practice of burning off harvested fields to prepare for planting. But as a result of a Sierra Club lawsuit, that could be coming to an end next month. The area is also plagued with fires in the huge stacks of baled hay you see in the fields. Most arson, some spontaneous combustion. They can burn for days.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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