BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Monday is November 1, and the beginning of the winter "Check Before You Burn" program.
As residents want to have a wood-burning fire in their fireplaces, the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District warns that leads to high levels of particulate matter in our atmosphere. So every day from the beginning of November to the end of February, the air district releases a "residential wood-burning status", advising residents whether there are "no restrictions, but wood-burning is discouraged", or if there's "no wood-burning unless registered", or if "burning is prohibited for all".
There are fines for those who don't follow the guidelines for the day, but the air district says it is more about educating the public on the importance of keeping our air clean here in the valley.
And in fact, they say this year, they are asking the public to *avoid wood-burning completely* all season.
"We're here to let you know that there are actually a lot of health impacts associated with having that fire in your fireplace," said district representative Heather Heinks, "And there's a lot of ways to stay warm without contributing pollution to the atmosphere in our valley. Very important to let you know that we are putting money behind that statement! We can get you $3000 to convert your open-hearth fireplace and put in a natural gas insert or stove so that it's fueled by natural gas and you're not having a combustion fire, which produces tiny little particles that float up into the atmosphere and the regular public breathes it in."
For more on how to get that voucher, click here.
And check the daily residential burning status here.