Check Before You Burn FAQ
What is a no-burn alert?
The South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) will issue a 24-hour
no-burn alert for residential fireplaces and outdoor fire pits and wood stoves when stagnant
weather raises fine particulate pollution to unhealthy levels. Alerts will
be issued only during winter months (November 1 through
the last day of February) for specific areas or the entire South Coast Air
Basin, depending on forecast. During a no-burn alert, SCAQMD requires that residents
in no-burn areas refrain from all indoor and outdoor wood burning.
The wintertime program became mandatory on November 1, 2011 under the provisions of Rule
445 – Wood-Burning Devices.
How do I know if a no-burn alert has been issued?
Residents can obtain no-burn alert information by:
- Using SCAQMD’s interactive
residential no-burn alert
map by entering an address or ZIP code in the search area;
- Signing up for SCAQMD
Air Alerts sent via
- Calling (866) 966-3293 for Check Before
You Burn information.
How long will a no-burn alert last?
A no-burn alert is in effect
for the 24-hour period from midnight on the day it is issued until midnight
the following day. For example, an alert issued on a Monday is in
place from Monday at midnight (just after 11:59 p.m. Monday) until Tuesday
Is it okay to use manufactured/wax logs or a pellet-fueled device
during a no-burn alert?
No. During a no-burn alert, residents should refrain from
all solid-fuel burning, including manufactured
wax/sawdust logs, pellet fuels, corn, coal, etc.
What about gas-log sets and other alternatives to wood burning?
A gaseous-fueled (natural gas or propane) device generates very small amounts
of particulate matter compared to a wood-burning device and therefore is not
subject to the residential no-burn alert.
Visit here for information on financial
assistance to convert a wood-burning fireplace or stove to a dedicated gaseous-fueled
device. Incentive funds, when available, are on a first-come, first-served basis
and may end at any time.
Are there exemptions to the mandatory no-burn days?
Yes. The exemptions, summarized below, are very limited and only apply
under specific conditions. The exemptions under Rule 445 include:
Households above an elevation of 3,000 feet;
Wood-burning devices that are a household’s sole source of heat;
Properties where there is no existing infrastructure for natural gas service within 150
feet of the property line; and
Ceremonial fires exempted under Rule 444 - Open Burning.
Refer to SCAQMD Rule 445 for a complete
description of exemptions by clicking