SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — Residents of Sacramento County could face some fines for lighting their fireplaces this winter.

The use of fireplaces will not be allowed on “no burn” days, and the guidance applies to all residents of Sacramento County, including those that live in the cities of Citrus Heights, Elk Grove, Folsom, Galt, Isleton, Rancho Cordova and Sacramento. 

People who light their fireplaces without checking to see if it’s OK the first time could pay $50 or take and pass a smoke awareness.

The Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District, which oversees efforts in the county to reduce air pollution, lists several ways for residents to check if burning will be allowed that day.

  • Visit AirQuality.org
  • Call 1-877-662-8765
  • Download the free “Sacramento Region Air Quality” mobile phone app
  • Follow @AQMD on Twitter
  • Sign up to get a daily burn status email at SpareTheAir.com.

A “no burn” day is called when weather conditions would lead to the wood smoke being trapped near the ground, and according to the district, the majority of winter air pollution is caused by wood burning.

According to the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District, sticking to “no burn” days is important because “fine particle pollution can pose a serious health threat.”

“Some exemptions are available to people who burn wood as their sole source of heat or who use certain types of fireplace inserts or heating stoves,” the district said.