Air Quality District's Ban on Wood Burning in Fireplaces Includes the Pass

Update 6:40 p.m. Exemptions to the South Coast Air Quality Management District restriction of burning wood in residential fireplaces on Friday Dec. 13 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.

Posted 4:50 p.m. The South Coast Air Quality Management District has issued a restriction of burning wood in residential fireplaces on Friday Dec. 13 for portions of Riverside, San Bernardino, Orange and L.A. counties due to air pollution level forecasts.

The restriction area includes Banning and Beaumont in the San Gorgonio Pass.

The no-burn restriction area does not include Palm Desert and the rest of the Coachella Valley, a representative for the air quality management district said in a phone interview.

"Residents living in the South Coast Air Basin are not permitted to burn wood in their fireplaces tomorrow, Friday Dec. 13, 2013, due to elevated particulate matter air quality forecasted by the South Coast Air Quality Management District," a statement issued by the district Thursday says.

The South Coast Air Basin includes all of Orange County and the non-desert portions of Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside counties.  Tomorrow is a no-burn day for all residents in these areas.

See this link for a map of the no-burn restriction area.

Under SCAQMD's "Check Before You Burn" program, residents in the affected areas are prohibited from burning wood or manufactured fire logs in their fireplaces from midnight tonight to midnight on Friday, according to district officials.

On no-burn days, residents can enter their zip codes 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 SCAQMD's 24-hour Check Before You Burn toll-free line at (866) 966-3293.

For more info on Check Before You Burn and alternatives to wood burning, see www.healthyhearths.org.
Diego Rose December 12, 2013 at 10:25 PM
Wow, if anyone DOESN'T see a problem with this, You are part of the problem!!!!
kim murphy December 13, 2013 at 10:48 AM
I was thinking the same thing!!! First we get a notice to conserve natural gas than we are told no wood burning!! Why are the low income exempt they usually get a break on their gas bill anyway!!
ATC December 13, 2013 at 11:25 AM
I agree completely, Diego. Looking out the window right now; crisp, clear blue skies... I think I'll light a fire in the fireplace just for the hell of it. ******* The entire SCAQMD, along with CARB, should be disbanded and the staff fired (or jailed). They have done more to destroy this State's and individuals' economy and well being over the past decade than any other group or agency.
nobodyuno December 13, 2013 at 01:37 PM
So what would happen if we do light a fire and what agency will enforce the ban??? I'm with ATC on this one!!!
Diego Rose December 13, 2013 at 02:26 PM
I think as with every other law and government agency restriction, It will all be about how far you want to take it!! The government will always out spend you with your money!!?? As with all laws, it was well intended. It is simply time to deregulate our lives a bit.....
ATC December 13, 2013 at 10:43 PM
hmmmm...I wonder if an open fire in the firepit on my back patio is considered a "Ceremonial fire exempted under Rule 444 - Open Burning". I could claim that it is a somber ceremony to commemorate the death of common sense in California.
rubberband December 15, 2013 at 03:08 PM
Yep... Religious freedoms, dude. I am going to borrow your idea starting tonight, as we had a ban on Friday from using our wood burning fireplace. I will don my ceremonial mask and coat my wooly rotund body with peanut butter, as is our sacred rite, and my special loin cloth, and dance in the yard singing the magic words of my people.... prior to burning said Ceremonial Log...My religious beliefs are complex and many faceted....It may also involve the drinking of the sacred beverages.....Crossing my fingers this plan works; look for our home on the news.....
ATC December 15, 2013 at 07:59 PM
OMG! It's going to take me a few days to get THAT visual out of my head, RB! That's AFTER I stop laughing! Not sure if I'll ever look at a peanut butter sandwich the same...:)
rubberband December 15, 2013 at 11:24 PM
Sorry...I guess had I thought that all the way out, I would have maybe not said it....<shudder>............Tonight, this fire is RAGIN'....no loin cloth was needed...FIRE FIRE FIRE!!!
Jeremiah December 16, 2013 at 12:11 AM
Land of the Free - as provided by your all-seeing, all-knowing Big Brother. **** Jeremiah
rubberband December 16, 2013 at 01:30 AM
Hey...it's not like I am asking a lot, here...my house is very old, and the fireplace is good and big and helps helps warm this place up....This doesn't seem real logical...big huge diesel trucks get a pass, but my one log wood fire is gonna kill us? I am very confused...and very warm :)
Jeremiah December 16, 2013 at 10:37 AM
I'd just use the thing and Big Brother be dipped. Unless people start pushing back on this stuff one freedom after another will fly away - if they haven't already. **** Jeremiah
Jeremiah December 16, 2013 at 10:38 AM
First they tell us air quality has been improving for the last 30 years and now suddenly it is so dirty we can't stay warm? **** Jeremiah
rubberband December 16, 2013 at 10:49 AM
I know. Like I said, I'm confused. My house is so old, and the fireplace was obviously well built and in a place very central to the entire home....Back when planning of fireplaces kept that in mind...The whole home sorta WRAPS around the fireplace....so, a fire heats my house up pretty nice...and it's just really perfect to have a fire at night. I am gonna hafta claim religious freedoms if I get reported...my religion is called, "Old guy ain't hurtin' ya one bit mind yer own bidness for ten minutes thank you very much."
Claire Frémont-Hampton December 16, 2013 at 12:16 PM
Do not coat your body with peanut butter, rubberband, for you will risk attack by hordes of hungry squirrels. Plus, you would then be labeled as "nuttier than squirrel poo". Or has that already occurred? Keep.....the loin cloth firmly in place, thank you.
rubberband December 16, 2013 at 06:07 PM
One day, when you are very bored, or I cannot hold it in any longer, I will tell you the story, nay, SAGA of my Squirrel battles. I have witnesses and evidence these tales of mine are true...I have a deep need to not be chewed on by squirrels, so wisely I will rethink the smearing of peanut butter, thank you.
Claire Frémont-Hampton December 16, 2013 at 06:20 PM
May I suggest nutella, so that if you are attacked by hungry hordes of any kind, it will consist of women seeking chocolate and hazelnut? Perhaps a better scenario?
rubberband December 17, 2013 at 11:03 AM
Women vs. squirrels? What if female squirrels like Nutella? I'm not winning any wars any time soon against anything, including but not limited to squirrels.


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