Beginning Dec. 1, 2007, Sacramento residents will now have to adhere to wood burning restrictions during the winter months. The Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District Board approved restrictions on residential wood burning on Thursday. The restriction will be effective through Feb. 28, 2008. The dates may change in coming years.
Residents planning to burn wood must check their neighborhood or city’s air quality before doing so. When the air quality forecast is 25 micrograms per cubic meter or more, residents will be asked to voluntarily not to burn wood. If the forecast is 35 micrograms or more, a mandatory no wood burning restriction will be placed, with the exception of EPA certified fireplace inserts or pellet stoves. Should the forecast reach 40 micrograms or more, there will be a mandatory no wood burning restriction on all burning devices, except for gas fireplaces.
Residents who use wood burning as a primary source of heat for their household may be exempt from this restriction.
Burning wood, according to the board, is the primary source of particulate matter in the air that could affect one’s health: lung function, asthma, chronic respiratory disease in children, irregular heartbeat, nonfatal heart attacks, and premature death in people suffering heart or lung disease.
During the first year of this restriction, violators will receive warning letters from the district. In the future, a $50 fine will be levied as well as a mandatory class about acceptable burning will be given to the violator.
Current air quality information can be found on sparetheair.com.