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Wood-Burning Fireplaces Prohibited Friday in RSM

You're exempt if wood is your only source of heat. Chances are, it's not.

Wood-burning fireplaces are illegal for Dec. 13. Photo/File
Wood-burning fireplaces are illegal for Dec. 13. Photo/File

By Peter Schelden

Planning on greeting the weekend by relaxing in front of your wood-burning fireplace Friday? Better think again, says the South Coast Air Quality Management District.

Friday has been declared a no-burn day for residents of Orange, Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties. That means residents are prohibited from burning wood or manufactured fire logs in their fireplaces from midnight Thursday to midnight Friday.    
No-burn alerts are called when air quality is forecast to be unhealthy due to fine particulate levels known as 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.

Mountain communities above 3,000 feet in elevation are exempt from the program, as are homes that rely on wood as a sole source of heat, low-income households and those without natural gas service.
Shawn Gordon December 13, 2013 at 11:16 AM
This is really high up there with stupid things government does.
Mike P December 13, 2013 at 12:56 PM
Is this the same Government Agency that is forcing cities to remove the fire pits at the beaches? The nanny state is alive and well.
Mike T December 13, 2013 at 03:42 PM
And how do they plan on enforcing this?
JTTPW December 13, 2013 at 04:05 PM
Perhaps I shall burn a copy of The Constitution, instead. Our freedoms don't appear to be relevant nowadays, with restrictions like this, on our former 'liberty'.
Shana Marie December 13, 2013 at 04:47 PM
What will happen if you do? Lame.
Shawn Gordon December 13, 2013 at 06:22 PM
I've been burning last years christmas tree in mine all day just because this is stupid and pisses me off.
LeAna Bui December 13, 2013 at 08:24 PM
I have to say my first reaction was pretty much the same as everyone else's here, but to flagrantly defy it has smga3000 claims to be doing, is no better. Just because you can doesn't mean you should.
JTTPW December 13, 2013 at 08:30 PM
Thanks for your comment, Shana Marie. Sorry to hear that you are lame, hope you heal, soon.
Mike P December 13, 2013 at 10:26 PM
Curiosity got the better of me, so I clicked on the link in the article and was linked to the SCAQMD website. I wanted to know what were the penalties, and here they are: "(1) For first time violators during each wood burning season, completion of a wood smoke awareness course that has been approved by the Executive Officer or payment of a penalty of $50; (2) For second time violators during each wood burning season, payment of a penalty of $150 or submission of proof of installation of a dedicated gaseous-fueled fireplace within 90 days after receiving the Notice of Violation; and (3) For third time violators during each wood burning season, payment of a penalty of $500 or implementation of an environmentally beneficial project as derived through the mutual settlement process." I got a laugh out of the "wood smoke awareness course", is that like driving school for reckless wood burners? So of course the next question is how are they going to enforce it? This also from the website: "To report a suspected violation, residents may call 1-800-CUT-SMOG (1-800-288-7664) or use the online complaint feature at www.aqmd.gov." So they are hoping your neighbor will report you to the authorities. Big Brother is at it again!
Shawn Gordon December 14, 2013 at 03:46 AM
LeAna, I haven't burnt any wood in weeks, so whether I did it today or tomorrow isn't going to make a damn bit of difference. The only way this has some impact was if everyone was burning every day and then we all stopped for a day. It is just so absurd, there is no point in paying attention to it. More power grab from the AQMD where they don't actually have power.
rob h December 19, 2013 at 11:52 AM
Apparently our father government doesn't care about 1000's of houses being built and will be built, plus all the cars that that will bring in, and so on and so on. So will there only be certain days we can drive during the summer months because of the pollutants our cars put out? So, like back in the 70's, if your car license ends with an even or odd number, this will determine what days you can drive. Major snowball effect. STOP BUILDING

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