Valley residents barred from burning wood for now due to bad air quality

Satellite images show how wildfire smoke from the Creek and SQF Complex fires continue to settle over the Valley.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Nights have been getting cool enough for some families to start thinking about using their wood-burning fireplaces.

Sunday would normally mark the start of the season when you can do that but the Valley Air District is expected to issue a no-burn day on Sunday and beyond due to bad air quality.

The district's Air Quality Science Director Jon Klassen said, "You can still see a lot of haze in the area."

Because of that, the district is expected to limit the use of wood-burning fireplaces.

Satellite images show how wildfire smoke from the Creek and SQF Complex fires continue to settle over the Valley.

The high levels of PM2.5 - fine particulate matter - means people won't be able to burn wood to stay warm unless they have an exemption.

Klassen said, "The weather really isn't projected to change until we get into late next week so even beyond what we'll see on Sunday we're expecting to have wood-burning curtailments in effect likely for most of next week."

It's important you check before you burn.

Smoke spotted coming from a chimney on days when wood-burning was not allowed led to over 400 citations last winter.

Heather Heinks of the air district said, "A wood-burning violation would run a valley resident $100. They can cut that cost in half if they attend an educational training that the district hosts."

The district also has an app you can use to check which days you can burn.

Heinks said, "You can also use that same app to report a violation. Maybe your neighbor burns all the time. Maybe they don't understand the rule that exists."

There were also limitations on what you can burn - wood only.

Residents are not allowed to burn leaves, trash, or lawn clippings at any time.
Copyright © 2020 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.