Monday, November 7, 2011

Sacramento Residents - Check Before You Burn!

Brr! It seems that we went straight from summer to winter this year! Where are our mild autumn days? With our overnight low temperatures in Sacramento heading south, you may be tempted to light a cozy fire in your fireplace tonight. BUT, be sure to "Check Before You Burn." For the last few years around the beginning of November, I have posted information regarding the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District's designated "Spare the Air" days where you can not burn wood in your fireplace...this program has been in effect for a few years now and has been very successful!

Their "Check Before You Burn" days are in effect this cold season from November 1, 2011 through February 29, 2012. Burning will be restricted or prohibited in Sacramento County when fine particle pollution is elevated.

You can actually sign up for email alerts from the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District. If you do not want to sign up for their daily emails, you can "Check Before You Burn" each day by calling 1-877-NOBURN-5, or by just visiting their website.

Check Before You Burn is in effect in Sacramento County and all its cities including Citrus Heights, Elk Grove, Folsom, Galt, Isleton, Rancho Cordova, and Sacramento. Area residents AND businesses are prohibited from using indoor or outdoor fireplaces, wood stoves, firepits and chimineas that burn wood, pellets, manufactured logs or any other solid fuel, when fine particle pollution is forecast to be elevated. It is your responsibility to "Check Before You Burn." First time violations will result in a $50 fine, or a requirement to complete and pass a wood smoke awareness course. Fines for subsequent violations will result in more expensive fines.

Did you know that the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District offers an incentive of up to a $1,500 voucher to replace or upgrade your older wood-burning / polluting units with cleaner-burning, USEPA certified or equivalent units? In order to be eligible, you must be a Sacramento County resident, and you must be replacing an existing uncertified wood stove, insert, or open hearth fireplace. Funds for are still available via this program, but are running out. If you are interested I suggest you contact a participating retailer of the replacement units asap.

I love having a cozy fire on cold nights, but I definitely pay attention to the daily alert emails I receive. It is extremely important that we all pay attention to this before lighting a fire...we all have to breathe the same Sacramento air!

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