Check Before You Burn this holiday

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Celebrate the upcoming holidays with better health for your family and neighbors by Checking Before You Burn and, if allowed, burning cleanly.
 
Check Before You Burn is in place each winter from November through February and restricts residential wood burning when air quality is deteriorating. There are two forecast levels: Wood-burning Prohibited and Please Burn Cleanly.
 
When wood burning is prohibited, burning any solid fuel – including manufactured fire logs and pellets -- is not allowed. There are two exemptions, however: if wood burning is the residence’s sole source of heat or if the residence does not have access to natural gas (even if propane is used).
 
If burning is allowed, air officials urge clean burning by using manufactured fire logs or dry, seasoned wood. And of course, gas is always allowed and the best choice.
 
Residential wood burning is a major source of particulate matter (PM), which includes soot, ash, tiny droplets of liquid and other airborne material. Fine-particulate matter (PM2.5) causes bronchial infections and lung disease, exacerbates respiratory conditions such as asthma, and has been correlated with heart attacks and strokes. On a winter day when wood burning is prevalent throughout the air basin, as much as 24 tons of PM is pumped into Valley skies.
 
Wood-burning forecasts are available each afternoon at 4:30 and can be obtained by:
·        Calling 1-800 SMOG INFO (766-4463)
·        Visiting http://www.valleyair.org/aqinfo/WoodBurnPage.htm
·        Signing up for automated emails at http://www.valleyair.org/lists/list.htm
·        Downloading the free iPhone app (“valley air”) at the iPhone App Store or iTunes
 
The Christmas Eve and Christmas Day forecasts will be available Dec. 23 and 24, respectively, at 4:30 p.m.
 
“A healthy holiday is the best gift we can give each other,” said Air District Executive Director Seyed Sadredin.
 
For more information about Check Before You Burn, visit www.valleyair.org or call a regional office: in Fresno (559) 230-6000, in Modesto (209) 557-6400 or in Bakersfield (661) 392-5500.
 

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