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Don't Light Your Fireplace (Before Reading This Post)!

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It's hard to go back to work after a long holiday weekend, so if you get home tonight and feel like unwinding with a stiff drink in front of a roaring fire in your fireplace, you might want to double check to see if a "No-Burn Alert" is going to dampen your plans.

Thanks to ongoing issues with air quality in Southern California, the South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) is running a program called "Check Before You Burn," which prohibits burning wood in fireplaces when the forecast includes unhealthful air. The program spans all of Orange County and includes the non-desert portions of Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties, and runs November to February.

The AQMD updates their "Check Before You Burn" map online daily, and they also offer email alerts, a zip code look-up, and a toll-free number so would-be wood burners can know if they are good to go. (Today, sorry Riverside County--one section there is under a no-burn order.)