Indoor and outdoor wood burning will be prohibited Saturday in most of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties because of weather conditions conducive to concentrated pollution, according to the South Coast Air Quality Management District.
The agency issued a mandatory "no-burn" alert that will be in effect throughout the day Saturday for everyone living in the South Coast Air Basin, including Orange County and non-desert portions of Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties. It does not apply to mountain communities above 3,000 feet, the Coachella Valley or the High Desert, or homes and low-income households that rely on wood as a sole source of heat, according to the AQMD.
The order bans burning wood or manufactured fire logs in fireplaces or any indoor or outdoor wood-burning device. People can still use gas and other non-wood-burning fireplaces.
"No-burn day alerts are mandatory in order to protect public health when levels of fine particulate air pollution in the region are forecast to be high," according to the AQMD. "Smoke from wood burning can cause health problems."
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Particles in wood smoke -- also known as fine particulate matter or PM2.5 -- can get deep into the lungs and cause respiratory problems, including asthma attacks, according to the agency.