South Coast Air Quality Management District Issues Mandatory “No Burn” Prohibition for Pasadena Through Wednesday

Published : Wednesday, January 30, 2019 | 5:35 AM

Pasadena residents are prohibited from any form of indoor or outdoor wood burning today through 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, January 30 under a Residential No-Burn Alert issued by the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD), the air pollution control agency for Orange County and major portions of Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside counties.

The alert covers 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.

SCAQMD said that burning wood in their fireplaces or any indoor or outdoor wood-burning device is prohibited during the mandatory wood-burning ban.

The no-burn rule also prohibits burning wood as well as manufactured fire logs, such as those made from wax or paper.

No-Burn Alerts are usually issued during late fall and early winter, between November and the end of February, when the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) asks residents to participate in its “Check Before You Burn” program by not burning wood in fireplaces when unhealthful air quality is forecast.

No-Burn alerts are issued for 24-hour periods for residential wood-burning fireplaces, backyard fire pits and wood stoves when emissions and stagnant weather conditions raise fine particulate pollution to unhealthy levels, the SCAQMD says on its website.

“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,” the SCAQMD said. “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.”

In the SCAQMD jurisdiction, which includes Pasadena, 13 No-Burn days have been issued for the 2018-2019 season, the agency said.

The 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. Gas and other non-wood burning fireplaces are not restricted, the SCAQMD said.

Residents 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.

For 24-hour recorded information, call (866) 966-3293. An interactive map is available at www.aqmd.gov/CheckBeforeYouBurnMap.

For more information on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s AIRNow Program, visit www.airnow.gov.

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