It’s starting to feel more like fall with noticeably cooler temperatures and breezy weather — the weather service has issued wind advisory for gusty winds until 4 pm this afternoon. It’s also the season for limiting use of residential fireplaces to reduce harmful particulates in the air and today is one of those days. The South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) has issued a residential no-burn alert effective today, 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. That means no cozy fireplaces or pizza ovens tonight!
The SCAQMD reminds residents in these areas that burning wood in their fireplaces or any indoor or outdoor wood-burning device is prohibited from midnight tonight through midnight on Monday. The no-burn rule prohibits burning wood as well as manufactured fire logs, such as those made from wax or paper. However, gas and other non-wood burning fireplaces are not restricted.
The 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.
No-Burn alerts are issued from November through the end of February when particulate levels are highest. Residents who like to use their fireplaces or have pizza ovens 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.
A link to additional information and an interactive no-burn alert map is available at www.AirAlerts.org. For 24-hour recorded Check Before You Burn information, call (866) 966-3293.