The South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) has issued a residential no-burn alert effective through midnight tonight, Thursday, December 28, 2017, for all those living in the South Coast Air Basin, which includes Orange County and non-desert portions of Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties. SCAQMD reminds residents in these areas that burning wood in their fireplaces or any indoor or outdoor wood-burning device is prohibited today and tomorrow through midnight on Thursday. The no-burn rule prohibits burning wood as well as manufactured fire logs, such as those made from wax or paper.
No-burn alerts are mandatory in order to protect public health when levels of fine particulate air pollution in the region are forecast to be high. Smoke from wood burning can cause health problems. Particles in wood smoke – also known as fine particulate matter or PM2.5 – can get deep into the lungs and cause respiratory problems (including asthma attacks), increases in emergency room visits and hospitalizations.
Residents can help reduce the harmful health effects of wood smoke by signing up to receive e-mail alerts at www.AirAlerts.org to learn when a mandatory no-burn alert is issued.
SCAQMD’s no-burn alerts do not apply to mountain communities above 3,000 feet in elevation, the Coachella Valley, or the High Desert. Homes that rely on wood as a sole source of heat, low-income households and those without natural gas service also are exempt from the requirement. Gas and other non-wood burning fireplaces are not restricted.
SCAQMD’s Check Before You Burn program is in effect from November through the end of February, when particulate levels are highest.