Environment & Science

‘No burn’ alert issued for Southern California areas

Due to pollution, a
Due to pollution, a "no burn" alert has been issued for LA, Orange County and the Inland Empire.
David McNew/Getty Images

Starting at midnight tonight—Tuesday—and lasting 24 hours, the South Coast Air Quality Management District will prohibit residents of LA County, Orange County and the Inland Empire from burning wood or manufactured fire logs in a fireplace.

“We have a weather pattern that is causing air pollution to be trapped fairly low to the ground and when this happens we want to take steps to ensure that the particle pollution levels don’t become even more unhealthy and one of the ways to do this is asking residents not to burn wood,” Sam Atwood of South Coast AQMD told KPCC.

Related: ‘Check before you burn' initiative warns against wood-fires on smoggy Southland days

The South Coast AQMD hopes people will comply with the alert voluntarily but responds to complaints of residents who burn during a “no burn” alert. A first time penalty for burning is $50 or taking a smoke awareness class online or via mail.

The Coachella Valley is exempt from this “no burn” alert.

Other exemptions include people with natural gas log sets, residents who live above 3000 feet elevation and low income residents that may not live in an area with natural gas service.

“We forecast and clear the alerts for 24 hours at a time,” said Atwood. “However when we have this type of weather pattern there is a potential that it could last for more than one day.”

Jessica Hamlin contributed to this article.