A burning match with smoke.
A burning match. Photo from Pixabay.

Starting Monday, Southland residents planning to spark up the fireplace will have to check with air-quality officials first.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District’s annual “Check Before You Burn” season will begin Monday and continue through Feb. 28, with regulators set to declare “No-Burn Days” when home fires could lead to unhealthy air.

“Smoke from residential fireplaces is a significant source of PM2.5 (particulate matter) during the winter months in the South Coast Air Basin,” Wayne Nastri, AQMD executive officer, said in a statement. “Residents can do their part to improve air quality by spreading awareness and choosing not to burn wood when No-Burn Days are announced.”

When a No-Burn Day is declared, wood-burning will be banned for 24 hours in residential fireplaces, stoves or outdoor fire pits. The restrictions are most common on “calm and cool winter days,” according to the AQMD, when wood burning can put air quality into the unhealthy range.

A total of 25 No-Burn Days were declared last winter.

Information on the restricted days is available on www.aqmd.gov/cbyb or on the AQMD’s mobile phone app. Residents can also sign up online to receive alerts on when No-Burn Days are declared.

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