Check Before You Burn Program Begins Amid Wildfire Season

The Check Before You Burn program will begin Monday, Nov. 1 and go through the end of February 2021. (Anna_Om/Envato Elements)

Starting November 1, the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District will begin the Check Before You Burn program.

The program runs through the end of February. The purpose is the reduction of PM 2.5 (particulate matter 2.5 microns and smaller) emissions from residential wood smoke.

Residential wood burning is one of the valley’s largest source of wintertime PM 2.5 emissions and has been proven to be a direct effect on air quality in neighborhoods.

Residents are urged to heat their homes through other types of heating over the use of wood.

“It’s been a very challenging summer and fall because of wildfires all over the state, with several still burning. We’re asking San Joaquin Valley residents to continue the cooperation that made last winter the cleanest on record,” said District Chief Communications Officer, Jaime Holt. “Unlike wildfires, we have control over how we choose to heat our homes. It is critical to public health that we do not add to the unhealthy air quality created by wildfires,” She added.

The District will be releasing a daily, county-by-county wood burning declaration based on the air quality forecast.

For information, visit or call 1-800-SMOG INFO (766-4463).

Restrictions do not apply to natural gas devices. Valley residences in areas with no natural gas service or where wood burning are the sole source of heat, are exempt from the restriction. The exemption also applies to areas that rely on propane tanks.

Homes with outdoor wood burning devices will be subjected to daily restrictions, regardless of exemption status.

Residents with EPA Certified wood and pellet-fueled devices may register them with the Valley Air District in order to use them on “No Burning Unless Registered” days.

To register, visit

Valley residents are encouraged to participate in the Burn Cleaner incentive program, they could receive as much as $3,000 to upgrade from older, higher-polluting wood stoves and open-hearth fireplaces to EPA Certified wood, pellet or natural gas inserts and free-standing stoves.

To participate in this program please