If you’re thinking of lighting your wood burning fireplace or pizza oven, you can’t do it today. The South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) has issued a residential no-burn alert effective from midnight last night through midnight Tuesday, December 6, 2016, due to a high concentration of fine particulate air pollution forecast for the area.
The no-burn prohibition also applies to manufactured fire logs, such as those made from wax or paper. The alert is 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.
No-burn alerts are mandatory in order to protect public health. Particles in wood smoke – also known as fine particulate matter or PM2.5 – can get deep into the lungs and cause respiratory illnesses, increases in emergency room visits and hospitalizations.
SCAQMD’s Check Before You Burn program is in effect from November through the end of February, when particulate levels are highest.