(FOX40.COM) — As the winter season approaches, Sacramento County residents are being asked to follow regulations regarding burning wood in their homes.
From Nov. 1 to Feb. 28, people who live in the cities of Citrus Heights, Elk Grove, Folsom, Galt, Isleton, Rancho Cordova and Sacramento must check air quality levels before using their fireplaces or wood stoves, according to the city of Sacramento.
As a way to reduce pollution, the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District restricts county residents the burning of any solid fuel, including wood, pellets or manufactured fire logs on days when the particle pollution is forecasted to be high.
“Wood burning in the winter causes over 50 percent of the fine particle pollution in Sacramento County, which poses a serious health threat when weather conditions trap pollution close to the ground where we breathe,” the Sac Metro Air Quality said.
According to the city of Sacramento, first-time violators are subject to a $50 fine or the option to take and pass a smoke awareness exam.
Repeat violators will be issued a violation and fine determined by the Sac Metro Air District.
“Burn Day” categories
Four burn day categories that apply to residents in the county from November to February.
Here are the following categories, according to the air district:
•Legal to Burn: There are no restrictions to burn
•Burning Discouraged: The Sac Metro Air District asks you to voluntarily not burn
•Stage 1: No Burn Unless Exempt: It’s illegal to burn unless you use an EPA-certified fireplace insert or stove or pellet stove, and it does not emit visible smoke
•Stage 2: All Burning Prohibited, also known as “No Burn Day”: It is illegal to burn any solid fuel including wood, manufactured fire logs, and pellets, in any device
Exemptions on “No Burn Days” are available to people who burn wood as their sole source of heat or who use certain types of fireplaces inserts or heating stoves.
Click or tap here to submit an exemption request.
How to check on “burn day” status
Residents can check the “burn day” status with the following resources from the city and county:
•Check updates on the AirQuality.org website
•Call 1-877-NO-BURN-5 (1-877-662-8765)
•Check updates on the Air Quality District X/Twitter page
•Sign up for a daily burn status email at the Spare The Air website