SCV News | AQMD Issues Air Quality Advisory, Wood-Burning Ban Through New Year’s Day

Uploaded: , Friday, Dec 31, 2021

By Press Release

The South Coast Air Quality Management District issued an advisory for poor air quality due to fireworks related to New Year celebrations as well as a mandatory wood-burning ban through Jan.1.

Particulate Advisory:

The AQMD said the Air Quality Index (AQI) may reach the unhealthy AQI category or higher through Saturday morning. Fireworks are known to emit high levels of particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10) as well as metal air pollutants, all of which can contribute to negative health effects.

The use of personal “backyard” fireworks also contributes to this air pollution and can further increase how much air pollution a person is breathing. Fireworks may lead to regional air quality in the unhealthy category, however, personal exposure to “backyard” fireworks may create local fine particulate matter
concentrations far in excess of regional values in the direct proximity to users.

Fine particulate matter levels on days with excessive firework activity are typically among the worst (highest) days of the year in the South Coast Air Basin. The smoke and combustion products from fireworks add to the fine particles already present in the Basin that are primarily caused by motor vehicles, residential wood combustion, fugitive dust and industrial emissions.

Breathing of fine particulate matter can lead to a wide variety of cardiovascular and respiratory health effects such as heart attacks, asthma aggravation, decreased lung function, coughing, or difficulty breathing and may lead to premature death in people with heart or lung disease.

Check air quality levels and take appropriate action as needed. When air quality index levels are unhealthy for Sensitive Groups (orange), people with heart or lung disease, pregnant women, children, and older adults should limit prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion. When air quality reaches Unhealthy (red) AQI levels, everyone may experience adverse health effects and sensitive groups should avoid prolonged time outdoors.

At Very Unhealthy (purple) AQI levels, sensitive groups should avoid all outdoor physical activity and everyone else should avoid prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion.

To help keep indoor air clean during periods of poor air quality, close all windows and doors and run your air conditioner and/or an air purifier.

If possible, do not use whole house fans or swamp coolers that bring in outside air. Avoid burning wood in your fireplace or firepit and minimize sources of indoor air pollution such as candles, incense, pan-frying, and grilling.

Limit the use of gasoline-powered lawn and garden equipment.


Areas of direct impacts and poor air quality may include portions of:

Los Angeles County: Central Los Angeles (Area 1), Northwest Coastal LA County (Area 2), Southwest Coastal LA County (Area 3), South Coastal LA (Area 4), Southeast LA County (Area 5), West San Fernando Valley (Area 6), East San Fernando Valley (Area 7), West San Gabriel Valley (Area 8), East San Gabriel Valley (Area 9), Pomona-Walnut Valley (Area 10), South San Gabriel Valley (Area 11), South Central Los Angeles County (Area 12), Santa Clarita Valley (Area 13), San Gabriel Mountains (Area 15)

Orange County: Northern Orange County (Area 16), Central Orange County (Area 17), North Coastal Orange County (Area 18), Saddleback Valley (Area 19), Central Coastal Orange County (Area 20), Capistrano Valley (Area 21)

Riverside County: Corona-Norco (Area 22), Metropolitan Riverside County (Area 23), Perris Valley (Area 24), Lake Elsinore (Area 25), Temecula Valley (Area 26), Anza Valley (Area 27), Hemet-San Jacinto Valley (Area 28), San Gorgonio Pass (Area 29)

San Bernardino County: Northwest San Bernardino Valley (Area 32), Southwest San Bernardino Valley (Area 33), Central San Bernardino Valley (Area 34), East San Bernardino Valley (Area 35), West San Bernardino Mountains (Area 36), Central San Bernardino Mountains (Area 37), East San Bernardino Mountains (Area 38)


No Burn Day Alert: Mandatory Wood Burning Ban

In addition, the South Coast AQMD issued a mandatory wood-burning ban through Jan. 1.

AQMD Wood Burning Ban Areas

South Coast AQMD reminds residents in these areas that burning wood in their fireplaces or any indoor or outdoor wood-burning device is prohibited during the mandatory wood-burning ban.

The no burn rule prohibits burning wood as well as manufactured fire logs, such as those made from wax or paper.

The AQMD urges residents to do their part to help keep our air clean by not burning wood during the mandatory wood-burning ban.

No burn day alerts are mandatory in order to protect public health when levels of fine particulate air pollution in the region are forecast to be high. Smoke from wood-burning can cause health problems. Particles in wood smoke – also known as fine particulate matter or PM2.5 – can get deep into the lungs and cause respiratory problems (including asthma attacks), increases in emergency room visits and hospitalizations.

Residents can help reduce the harmful health effects of wood smoke by signing up to receive email alerts at to learn when a mandatory no burn day alert is issued.

South Coast AQMD’s no burn day alerts do not apply to: mountain communities above 3,000 feet in elevation, the Coachella Valley, or the High Desert. Homes that rely on wood as a sole source of heat, low-income households and those without natural gas service also are exempt from the requirement. Gas and other non-wood burning fireplaces are not restricted.

What To Do When Air Pollution Reaches Unhealthful Levels:

Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups: Air Quality Index (AQI) is 101 – 150. Although the general public is not likely to be affected at this AQI range, people with heart or lung disease, older adults and children are at a greater risk from exposure to air pollution. People with heart or lung disease, older adults, and
children should reduce prolonged or heavy exertion.

Unhealthy: AQI is 151 – 200. Everyone may begin to experience some adverse health effects, and members of the sensitive groups may experience more serious effects. People with heart or lung disease, older adults, and children should avoid prolonged or heavy exertion. Everyone else should reduce prolonged or heavy exertion.

Very Unhealthy: AQI is 201 – 300. Everyone may experience more serious health effects. People with heart or lung disease, older adults, and children should avoid all physical activity outdoors. Everyone else should avoid prolonged or heavy exertion.

About South Coast AQMD

South Coast AQMD is the regulatory agency responsible for improving air quality for large areas of Los Angeles, Orange County, Riverside and San Bernardino counties, including the Coachella Valley. For news, air quality alerts, event updates and more, visit

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