Can I have a fire in my fireplace on Christmas Eve? How about Christmas Day?

If you’re planning on having a holiday fire, it better be gas.

Starting a wood-burning fire in your fireplace or stove is prohibited on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, according to the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District.

Burning outdoors is also illegal in Sacramento County without a permit.

From November to February, the Sac Metro Air Quality Management District restricts the use of wood and pellet burning to decrease air pollution. The smoke throws particulate matter such as soot, dust and metals into the air, which can pose a health hazard. When inhaled, small particles can settle in the lungs and make their way into the bloodstream.

Wood and pellet burning in fireplaces and stoves create 50 percent of air pollution during the winter, the district states on its website.

People can be fined $50 for violating the burn ban.

Molly Sullivan: 916-321-1176, @SullivanMollyM

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