No-Burn Alerts

Check Before You Burn logoWhat is a no-burn alert? 

The South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) issues a 24-hour no-burn alert for residential fireplaces, outdoor fire pits and wood stoves when emissions and stagnant weather cause unhealthy levels of fine particulate pollution. Alerts are issued each year from November 1 through the last day of February, typically for the entire South Coast Air Basin. During a no-burn alert, SCAQMD requires that residents refrain from all indoor and outdoor wood burning. The wintertime program became mandatory on November 1, 2011 under the provisions of Rule 445 – Wood-Burning Devices (PDF). 

How do I know if a no-burn alert has been issued?

Residents can obtain no-burn alert information by: 

  • Signing up for SCAQMD Air Alerts sent via e-mail;

  • Using SCAQMD’s interactive residential no-burn alert map by entering an address or ZIP code in the search area;or

  • Calling 866-966-3293 for Check Before You Burn information.

How long will a no-burn alert last?

A no-burn alert is in effect for the 24-hour period from midnight on the day it is issued until midnight the following day. For example, an alert issued on a Monday is in place from Monday at midnight (just after 11:59 p.m. Monday) until Tuesday at midnight.

Is it okay to use manufactured/wax logs or a pellet-fueled device during a no-burn alert?

No. During a no-burn alert, residents should refrain from all solid-fuel burning, including manufactured wax/sawdust logs, pellet fuels, corn, coal, etc.

What about gas-log sets and other alternatives to wood burning?

A gaseous-fueled (natural gas or propane) device generates very small amounts of particulate matter compared to a wood-burning device and therefore is not subject to the residential no-burn alerts. 

Visit here for information on financial assistance to convert a wood-burning fireplace or stove to a dedicated gaseous-fueled device. Incentive funds, when available, are on a first-come, first-served basis and may end at any time.

Are there exemptions to the mandatory no-burn days?

Yes. The exemptions, summarized below, are very limited and only apply under specific conditions. The exemptions under Rule 445 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; and

  • Ceremonial fires exempted under Rule 444 - Open Burning.

Refer to SCAQMD Rule 445 for a complete description of exemptions by clicking here (PDF, 49kb).

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