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Ban on Wood Burning in Residential Fireplaces Includes Redlands-Loma Linda

SCAQMD Check Before You Burn Map for 1/29/2014
SCAQMD Check Before You Burn Map for 1/29/2014
Residents living below 3,000 feet elevation in the San Gorgonio Pass are not permitted to burn wood in their fireplaces Wednesday Jan. 29 due to forecasts for elevated fine particulate levels, South Coast Air Quality Management District officials said Tuesday.

The no-burn alert for is for residents of the greater L.A. metro area, Orange County and Inland Empire, according to the district.

"Residents in these areas are prohibited from burning wood or manufactured fire logs in their fireplaces from midnight tonight to midnight on Wednesday," South Coast Air Quality Management District officials said Jan. 28.

Wednesday's no-burn alert is the eighth one this season, which started on Nov. 1 and ends Feb. 28.

Violators could be required to pay a first-time fine of $50 or complete a "smoke awareness class" online, SCAQMD spokesman Sam Atwood told Patch in December.

"We hope people comply voluntarily but if we get complaints we will follow up and investigate," Atwood said. "When we do investigate we're not going to contact any residents or knock on any doors."

A district inspector would have to witness smoke from a chimney firsthand to issue a violation, Atwood said.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District's no-burn alerts do not apply to mountain communities above 3,000 feet elevation, the Coachella Valley and the High Desert, district officials said.

"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," district officials said.

Specific exemptions listed by the district include:

- Households above an elevation of 3,000 feet

- Wood-burning devices that are a household's sole source of heat

- Low-income households

- Properties where there is no existing infrastructure for natural gas service within 150 feet of the property line

- Ceremonial fires exempted under Rule 444 - Open Burning

On a no-burn day, residents can enter their ZIP code at www.aqmd.gov to see if they live in an affected area, district officials said. Residents can also sign up for daily reports on air quality and Check Before You Burn alerts at www.airalerts.org or call SCAQMD's 24-hour Check Before You Burn toll-free line at (866) 966-3293.

The district's Check Before You Burn Map for Dec. 18 incorrectly includes portions of the San Jacinto Mountains above 3,000 feet elevation and the district is working on fixing the map, Atwood said Tuesday.

SCAQMD's 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.

No-burn alerts are called when air quality is forecast to be elevated due to fine particulate levels (PM2.5).  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.

For more info on Check Before You Burn and alternatives to wood burning, see www.healthyhearths.org.
Phillip January 30, 2014 at 06:51 PM
Ridiculous nannies. How many wood burning fireplaces are left in SoCal? I sure feel safer with this BAN in place. Maybe they should worry more about the dope growers and transients setting wildfires than an occassional fireplace.

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