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

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At this time of year, air pollution can rise to unhealthy levels, especially when there are stagnant weather conditions.

To help keep pollution down, the South Coast Air Quality agency has started mandatory no-burn alerts. “Wood smoke from fireplaces contributes to regional particulate pollution, which is a serious public health threat,” said the agency’s lead Barry Wallerstein.

They’ve created a map to make clear which regions have “no burn” alerts from day to day.

Anyone with asthma or other respiratory illnesses knows already that high particulate levels can make breathing painful and difficult. How much of a problem are wood fires? How will this message reach everyone with a wood-burning fireplace?


Philip Fine, Ph.D., Assistant Deputy Executive Officer, South Coast Air Quality Management District