Fire Burn Restrictions Started November 1st

FRESNO, Calif. Air quality is bad throughout the Valley. Officials with the Air Pollution Control District said lighting wood fires on days like this only add to the problem, which is why for the first time this season, they're putting restrictions in place all over the Valley.

The first of November marks the valley's annual residential fireplace program, also known as "check before you burn."

Right now, residents in Kings County are not allowed to burn wood, pellets and manufactured firelogs for 24 hours.

The same rule will go into effect in San Joaquin, Fresno and kern counties starting at midnight.

Jaime Holt, Air Pollution Control District said: "It is unusual that we have so many days so early on in so many counties and it has to with weather really. We're experiencing what is some really nice warm weather but it means we don't have much of a breeze, we don't have what's called a washout and all of the pollution that's being created is just staying right here in the valley."

Jaime Holt with the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District says during the winter, wood burning stoves are the valley's number one pollutant.

Last year, the district issued 37 no burn days in Kings County, 46 in Fresno County, 35 in Tulare County and 32 in Merced County. And all across the valley, they wrote 402 tickets to people who ignored those restrictions.

Jaime Holt, Air Pollution Control District said: "First ticket is fifty dollars, but if you continue to violate the rules, the cost escalates and we can really see people get into the thousands of dollars."

Holt says last year, they made wood-burning restrictions tougher, which resulted in one of the cleanest winters on record.

Jaime Holt, Air Pollution Control District said: "It's really a health hazard; it really gives problems to those people who have asthma or respiratory problems, so we tell people if air quality is bad, you're not allowed to do that."

Citations are usually complaint driven, by neighbors who see people lighting wood on "no burn days."

If you'd like to see if there is a "no burn day" issued where you live, just log onto our website and go to the weather section.

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