Residential wood burning can be one of the Valley’s largest sources of wintertime PM2.5 emissions and is shown to have a direct effect on neighborhood air quality and public health. The Valley Air District is asking Valley residents to not use wood-burning devices over the holiday weekend, and consider their health and that of their neighbors during this time. In some areas, wood burning may be prohibited and residents may receive a fine for burning when not allowed. This includes fireplaces, woodstoves and outdoor fire pits and chimineas.
The Residential Wood Smoke Reduction program aims to reduce negative health impacts and buildup of PM2.5 by restricting the use of wood-burning devices in the Valley when conditions do not allow for pollution to disperse.
The daily burn information is always available by visiting www.valleyair.org/burnstatus, by calling 1-800-SMOG INFO (766-4463), or by downloading the free “Valley Air” app on a mobile device. In addition, residents are invited to sign up for daily wood-burning email notifications. There are three curtailment levels: No Burning For All; No Burning Unless Registered; Burning Discouraged.
Curtailments do not apply to natural gas devices. Residences in areas with no natural gas service or where wood burning is the sole source of heat are exempt. Areas where propane tanks are used are considered to be without natural gas service. Outdoor wood-burning devices at all residences are still subject to the daily restrictions, regardless of exemption status.
Valley residents are encouraged to apply for the Fireplace and Woodstove Change-Out program and receive as much as $5,000 to upgrade from older, higher-polluting wood stoves and open-hearth fireplaces to natural gas inserts and free-standing stoves. To participate in this program, visit www.valleyair.org/change-out.
The Valley Air District covers eight counties, including San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced, Madera, Fresno, Kings, Tulare and San Joaquin Valley air basin portions of Kern. For additional information about the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, visit www.valleyair.org or call 559-230-6000.