Check Before You Burn

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November marks the start of South Coast AQMD’s annual Check Before You Burn season. From November through the end of February, residents are asked to check before burning wood in their fireplaces to limit emissions of fine particulate matter (PM2.5).

A No-Burn day is a 24-hour ban on wood-burning in residential fireplaces, stoves or outdoor fire pits in the South Coast Air Basin. South Coast AQMD forecasters call for residential No-Burn Days when PM2.5 is expected to reach Unhealthy levels due to air emissions and stagnant weather conditions.

South Coast AQMD’s No-Burn Day alerts do not apply to mountain communities above 3,000 feet in elevation, the Coachella Valley or High Desert, homes that rely on wood as a sole source of heat, low income households and those without natural gas service. Gas and other non-wood burning fireplaces are also exempt

South Coast AQMD is providing several resources to the public to make following No-Burn Days as convenient as possible:

  • E-Mail Notification Program
    Sign up to receive Air Alerts on air quality and to be notified when a mandatory No-Burn alert has been issued for your neighborhood.

  • Check Before You Burn Map
    Visit the Check Before You Burn map on our website for daily forecast information.

  • Toll-Free Phone Number
    Call 866-966-3293 for daily Check Before You Burn information.

  • Mobile App
    Download the South Coast AQMD app to check local air quality and receive notifications when No-Burn Days are called.

  • Social Media
    Follow South Coast AQMD’s social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The South Coast AQMD also encourages you to take the pledge to Check Before You Burn.


Additional Videos: 

Visit our playlistLink to external website. on our YouTube channel for videos on the following topics:

  • What is a No-Burn Day?

  • Health Effects of Wood Smoke Pollution

  • Pediatrician Dr. Afif El-Hasan, M.D, discusses why it's particularly important for kids health to Check Before You Burn

  • Wood-Burning Alternatives for Your Fireplace

More Information

Additional Resources

Information on wood burning from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):

Information on Wood Burning from the California Air Resources Board (CARB):

Studies and research on wood smoke health hazards:


"Scientific studies confirm that wood smoke contains harmful particles that can trigger breathing problems, exacerbate asthma, and even cause lung and heart disease. The American Lung Association of California is a long-time advocate for controls on wood smoke pollution because everyone deserves the right to breathe clean air in their home and neighborhood. We appreciate the air district's efforts to provide flexibility and support to low-income families, people living in mountainous areas, and others affected by wood smoke."
– American Lung Association of CaliforniaLink to external website.

"In a study funded by the South Coast AQMD, my colleagues and I evaluated the relationship of 40,856 cardio-respiratory hospital admissions to wildfire-related particulate matter (PM2.5) during catastrophic wildfires that struck Southern California in October 2003. As reported in an articleLink to external website. in the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine, we found during heavy smoke conditions of 70 μg/m3 (micrograms per cubic meter) PM2.5 there was an estimated 34% more hospital admissions for asthma, and similarly large increases in admissions for acute bronchitis, pneumonia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Although indoor and outdoor concentrations of wood smoke from fireplaces are typically far less than those from wildfires, smoke from wood burning in homes contains the same harmful compounds as wildfire smoke."
– Dr. Ralph Delfino, Associate Professor, Dept. of Epidemiology, UCI

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South Coast Air Quality Management District

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