'No burn days' set to begin

FRESNO, Calif.

With temperatures expected to drop in the coming months, the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District will issue "no burn day" alerts when the air quality becomes increasingly poor.

"So in the fall and winter we have particulate season, which is small pieces of airborne material. So wood burning is a significant source of emissions of PM and that's why we put the wood burning regulation into place," Janelle Schneider of the Air Pollution Control District said.

PM stands for particulate matter.

Allergist A.M. Aminian says harmful amounts of it can cause or accelerate respiratory problems to peoples lungs.

"It would affect children when they're growing up. The lungs are not going to be healthy lungs. It would even cause cardiovascular disease. The number of heart attacks they think is more when you are living in an area with air pollution," Aminian said.

The air alerts are broken down county.

The Air Pollution Control District says people can apply for exemptions if wood burning is their only source of heat or if they don't have natural gas hooked up to their home.

Violators could face a $50 fine for a first time offense.

"You know we have this year round inversion layer. And that is basically like a high altitude lid atmospherically. That is kept on the Valley, and that keeps everything locked down," Schneider said.

When burning is allowed, the Air District recommends using manufactured fire logs such as Duraflame or dry, seasoned wood to minimize emissions.

The wood burning forecast will be updated daily on the district's website and runs through February.

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