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Sunday, February 25
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Things to do > Reduce Wood Smoke Pollution
Residential wood smoke causes health problems, odor and reduced visibility

If you live in Sacramento County, you need to call 1-877-NOBURN-5 (877-662-8765) from November - February to Check Before You Burn. Wood smoke causes over 50% of winter pollution in Sacramento County.

Wood smoke is harmful to your health

Particles from wood smoke trigger asthma attacks and impact the heart and lungs.

Take advantage of a cash incentive to replace your old wood stove
  • SacMetro AQMD has up to $1,500 to help low income Sacramento County residents replace old, polluting devices with U.S. EPA certified or equivalent cleaner burning devices. Click here for the Wood Stove & Fireplace Incentive Program flyer.
  • El Dorado County residents can receive $500 to $600 to replace an old, non-EPA certified wood stove. Visit or call the El Dorado County AQMD at 530-621-7501. Pre-approval is required.
  • On a Legal to Burn day, follow these tips to reduce wood smoke:

    Start your fire with softwood kindling

    Softwoods (pine, fir) are generally low in density, ignite easily, burn fast and hot so they smoke less.

    Burn only dry hardwood

    Hardwoods (oak, cherry) are denser and burn slower and more evenly, producing less smoke.

    Burn only seasoned firewood

    Firewood should dry, or season, a minimum of 6 to 12 months before splitting. Seasoned firewood by definition contains 20 percent moisture or less by weight.

    Cover and elevate your stored wood

    Stack wood one foot or more above the ground and cover the top to keep dew and rain off the wood. Never burn wet or moist wood because it will cause heavy smoke.

    Never burn garbage, plastic, glossy paper, painted or treated wood

    Burning these materials can produce harmful fumes and are illegal to burn at all times.

    Give your fire plenty of room

    A fire with a good air supply produces less smoke so don't close the damper or air inlets too tightly.

    Watch your chimney for smoke

    If you see smoke then the wood is not burning efficiently. The darker the smoke, the more pollutants it contains and the more fuel is being wasted.

    Make sure wood stove and fireplace inserts fit the heating needs of the home

    Don't buy more power than you need.

    Have your chimney inspected and cleaned once a year

    Chimneys should be cleaned professionally to remove creosote buildup. Creosote can fuel a chimney fire that can burn down your house.