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Residential No-Burn Alert Declared for Major Portions of Inland Empire Tomorrow

February 5, 2013

Residents Directed Not to Burn Wood in Affected Areas

Residents in major portions of the Inland Empire are not permitted to burn wood in their fireplaces tomorrow due to unhealthy air quality forecast by South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD).

Under AQMDs Check Before You Burn program, residents in the affected areas only are prohibited from burning wood or manufactured fire logs in their fireplaces or outdoor fire pits from midnight tonight until midnight tomorrow.

The affected area encompasses Chino Hills and Montclair to the west, Corona to the south, Riverside and San Bernardino to the east and the foothills of the San Bernardino Mountains to the north.

Residents can enter their ZIP code at www.aqmd.gov to see if they live in an affected area. They can also sign up for daily reports on air quality and Check Before You Burn alerts at www.airalerts.org or call AQMDs 24-hour Check Before You Burn toll-free line at (866) 966-3293.

Clean-burning natural gas-fueled fireplaces are exempt from AQMDs no-burn alerts. AQMD offers a discount of up to $125 at participating retailers toward the purchase and professional installation of gas log sets. See www.healthyhearths.org for details on the incentive program.

AQMDs Check Before You Burn program, in effect each winter from Nov. 1 to the end of February, is designed to protect public health by minimizing harmful wood smoke from residential wood burning. Wood smoke contains hundreds of contaminants including PM2.5, a pollutant linked to increased emergency room visits and hospitalizations, as well as increased risk of heart attacks and early deaths.

Check Before You Burn alerts are called when air quality is predicted to be in the Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups range or higher due to fine particulate levels. This occurs when PM2.5 levels are forecast to be higher than 35 micrograms per cubic meter during a 24-hour average.

The program applies to residents of the South Coast Air Basin, which includes all of Orange County and the non-desert portions of Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties. Mountain communities above 3,000 feet in elevation are exempt, as are homes that rely on wood as a sole source of heat, low-income households and those without natural gas service.

Residents who burn wood in their fireplaces when a no-burn alert has been issued could, for a first time violator, be fined $50 or attend a wood smoke awareness course in lieu of a fine. For a second violation, the fine increases to $150 or a resident may install a dedicated gas-fueled fireplace. Third time violators will receive a $500 fine or may fund a project that will benefit the environment. Multiple violations are accrued only if they occur during a single wood-burning season, November through February. To report a suspected violation, residents may call 1-800-CUT-SMOG (1-800-288-7664) or visit www.aqmd.gov.

For further information on Check Before You Burn and alternatives to wood burning, see www.healthyhearths.org.

AQMD is the air pollution control agency for Orange County and major portions of Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside counties.



This page updated: February 05, 2013
URL: http://www.aqmd.gov/news1/2013/CBYB020514.htm