Check Before You Burn rule hoping to minimize health risks

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- When you burn wood, fine pieces of soot and ash can get into the air and enter a person's lungs, causing serious health problems, especially for those already suffering from lung and heart disease.

The Check Before You Burn season was designed 17 years ago to minimize health risks.

"We've seen a huge evolution in this program since it began in 2003, where residents in the Valley have recognized that burning wood has a real impact on public health," says Anthony Presto with the SJ Valley Air Pollution Control District.

The program runs from November through February and depending on where you live, you could face a fine if you used your fireplace on a wrong day.

But officials say they saw great improvements.

"The weather was not spectacular and really didn't play much of an impact as you would expect," Presto said. "What was really the game-changer here was the fact that residents in the San Joaquin Valley cooperated and really supported the program."

Fresno county saw 202 violations this season, which is slightly up from last year.
Copyright © 2020 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.