As temperatures drop, there are days when Connie Arreguin wishes she could light her wood burning fire place. Connie always calls The Valley Air Pollution Control District's Smog-Info line to find out if a burn alert is in effect. She says she can't afford the fine. Violators face a $50 fine for a first time offense. Connie says, "If nothing else, I will double up on the clothes I wear to keep warm."
Janelle Schneider with the Air District says, "This is the Check Before You Burn season." The season starts in November and ends in February. This is the ninth year the alert has taken place. The Air District says so far inspectors have caught 10 homes violating the no-burn rule in Fresno, Merced, Madera, Kings and Tulare counties.
Doctors say the pollution aggravates respiratory problems such as asthma.