It may be tempting to start a fire in the fireplace with temperatures lately dipping below freezing, but don't do it tonight or Friday.
The Sacramento Air Quality Management District's Check Before You Burn program notes that weather conditions mandate that the Sacramento region must be under a Stage 2 ban today and Friday.
Under a Stage 2 ban, when fine-particle pollution is forecast to exceed 35 micrograms per cubic meter, it is illegal to burn any solid fuel, including wood, manufactured logs and pellets. The ban also includes outdoor burning, including fire pits and chimineas. Gas fires, whether indoors or out, are always permissible.
Residential wood burning is prohibited on days when fine particle pollution is forecast to be high. The law applies throughout Sacramento County, including the cities of Citrus Heights, Elk Grove, Folsom, Galt, Isleton, Rancho Cordova and Sacramento.
The Check Before You Burn program is designed to reduce fine-particle pollution. It calls for the district to restrict or prohibit use of indoor and outdoor fireplaces and wood stoves, as well as fire pits and chimneys that burn wood, pellets, manufactured logs or any other solid fuel.
Fine particles resulting from wood burning affect the respiratory system and can get into the bloodstream, causing heart arrhythmia, heart attacks and strokes.