(dailynews.com) Resist the urge to throw some logs in your fireplace or fire pit to stay toasty the next couple of chilly nights. The South Coast Air Quality Management District has issued a ban on wood-burning in a large swath of Southern California.
Both indoor and outdoor wood-burning will be prohibited at most residences from midnight Sunday, Dec. 11, through midnight Tuesday, Dec. 13. The no-burn prohibition also applies to manufactured fire logs, such as those made from wax or paper, according to SCAQMD.
The pollution-control agency cited forecasts of poor air quality in the area as the reason for the ban. Particulate matter released when wood is burned can cause respiratory problems, especially in children and the elderly, according to SCAQMD.
The ban on wood burning does not apply to mountain communities above 3,000 feet in elevation, or to desert portions of Riverside, San Bernardino and Los Angeles counties east and north of the mountains, the agency said.
Homes that rely on wood as a sole source of heat, low-income households and those without natural gas service are also exempt from the requirement.
First-time violators of the ban are subject to a $50 fine and subsequent violations can result in increased penalties.
Overnight low temperatures Sunday, Monday and Tuesday nights are expected to range from the low 40s to the low 50s across the Inland valleys, according to the National Weather Service. Highs will be in the mid-60s Monday and upper 60s to 70 Tuesday.