Wood-Burning Fireplaces Prohibited Today in Diamond Bar and Walnut

Air quality is forecast to be only moderate in the Walnut and Pomona valleys.

Residents in Walnut and Diamond Bar, as well as other areas in Los Angeles County and  several coastal Orange County areas, will be under a "no burn alert" today due to an elevated particulate matter air quality forecast from the South Coast Air Quality Management District.

According to an email alert from the AQMD, the air quality is predicted to be unhealthy.

Because of this, residents are prohibited from burning "wood or manufactured fire logs" in their fireplaces or outdoor fire pits on Friday under the AQMD's "Check Before You Burn" program, according to an alert from the AQMD.

The no-burn area stretches from Inglewood on the north to San Clemente in the south, and encompasses from the coast to up to 20 miles inland. In Los Angeles County, it includes the entire Walnut and Pomona valleys, among other areas, according to a map provided by the AQMD.

Wood burning creates an average of 5 tons of harmful PM2.5—very fine particulate matter that's 1/30th the width of a human hair—emissions per day in the South Coast Air Basin, which is four times the amount emitted from all power plants in the area, according to the AQMD. These small particles can lodge deep in the lungs and cause respiratory health problems, and long-term exposure can lead to reduced lung function and chronic bronchitis.

People caught burning wood in their fireplaces during a no-burn alert face fines, according to an email from the AQMD. First-time violators can be fined $50, though they may attend a wood smoke awareness course in lieu of paying the fine. On the second violation, the fine increases to $150, or the resident may install a dedicated gas-fueled fireplace. Third-time violators will be either fined $500 or forced to fund a project that will benefit the environment.

Multiple violations are accrued during individual wood-burning seasons from November through February. To report a suspected violation, call 800-288-7664 or visit aqmd.gov.

Residential wood burning advisories are automatically implemented when PM2.5 particle pollution exceeds 30 micrograms per cubic meter in the months of November, December, January and February. The rule only applies to residences in the South Coast Air Basin at elevations below 3,000 feet.

There is an exemption to the alert for homes where wood burning is the only source of heat and where no natural gas service is available. 

— Patch Staff and City News Service contributed to this report.

joebanana December 13, 2013 at 11:42 AM
Sorry, I don't follow unconstitutional "laws". Laws made up by made up governmental agencies, aren't properly legislated laws, which makes them "not law". This is called EXTORTION, not "law". I'm sick to death of these governmental idiots thinking they can just make up "law", and everybody has to "obey" these arbitrary, unenforceable, demands. This is illegal. How about making laws forbidding being irradiated by Fukushima fallout? How about laws forbidding cops from killing unarmed citizens, that pose no threat? How about laws forbidding SWAT teams from raiding the wrong house, killing family pets, assaulting children, and ransacking homes? The crime syndicate, USDOJ claims medical marijuana patients aren't allowed to own firearms, the constitution doesn't concur.
Ray Russell December 13, 2013 at 01:07 PM
This agency is a joke! I worked for years in a job that required me to attend meetings with these people. So I'm very well acquainted with how they work and distort both facts and numbers. They aren't allowed to regulate cars, so they have to regulate every thing else in order to justify their jobs. This morning they need to open a window and look at the clear blue sky! But they won't ! Unhealthy air, bah humbug! No such thing!


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