For the 17th season, the Valley Air District reminds residents living in the San Joaquin Valley to “Check Before You Burn.” The residential wood burning season, which runs from Nov. 1 through the end of February every year, is now officially open. During the season, the District releases a daily county-by-county wood burning declaration, based on the air quality forecast. The season began with a No Burning for All curtailment for Friday, Nov. 1 in Fresno, Kings, Tulare and the Valley portion of Kern County; as well as a No Burning Unless Registered curtailment in San Joaquin, Stanislaus, and Madera counties.
The Check Before You Burn program protects public health by reducing PM2.5 (particulate matter pollution 2.5 microns and smaller) emissions from one of the Valley’s largest wintertime sources; residential wood burning.
“Thanks to public cooperation, Valley air is getting cleaner, which has a direct, positive impact on public health,” said District Executive Director and Air Pollution Control Officer, Samir Sheikh. “The public’s continued support of the Check Before You Burn Program is critical to the health and quality of life for all Valley residents and, reaching our clean air goals.”
Daily burn information is available by visiting checkbeforeyouburn.org, by calling 1-800-SMOG INFO (766-4463), or by downloading the free “Valley Air” app on your mobile device. In addition, residents may sign up for daily email wood-burning 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.
Residents with EPA Certified wood and pellet-fueled devices may register them with the Valley Air District in order to use them on “No Burning Unless Registered” days. Find out how to register by visiting: www.valleyair.org/CBYBregistration.
Valley residents are encouraged to apply for the Burn Cleaner incentive program and receive as much as $3,000 to upgrade from older, higher-polluting wood stoves and open-hearth fireplaces to EPA Certified wood, pellet or natural gas inserts and free-standing stoves. To participate in this program, visit www.valleyair.org/burncleaner.