Residents living in the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area, Orange County and theInland Empire are not permitted to burn wood in their fireplaces today and tomorrow,Wednesday, January 29 and Thursday, January 30, 2014, due to elevated fine particulate levelspredicted by the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD).Residents in these areas are prohibited from burning wood or manufactured fire logs intheir fireplaces from midnight to midnight on both Wednesday and Thursday.SCAQMD’s no-burn alerts do not apply to mountain communities above 3,000 feet inelevation, the Coachella Valley and the High Desert. Homes that rely on wood as a sole sourceof heat, low-income households and those without natural gas service also are exempt from therequirement.On a no-burn day, residents can enter their ZIP code at www.aqmd.gov to see if they livein an affected area. They can also sign up for daily reports on air quality and Check Before YouBurn alerts at www.airalerts.org or call SCAQMD’s 24-hour Check Before You Burn toll-freeline at (866) 966-3293.SCAQMD’s Check Before You Burn program, in effect each winter from Nov. 1 to theend of February, is designed to protect public health by minimizing harmful wood smoke fromresidential wood burning. No-burn alerts are called when air quality is forecast to be elevateddue to fine particulate levels (PM2.5). Wood smoke contains hundreds of contaminantsincluding PM2.5, a pollutant linked to increased emergency room visits and hospitalizations, aswell as increased risk of heart attacks and early deaths.For further information on Check Before You Burn and alternatives to wood burning, seewww.healthyhearths.org.SCAQMD is the air pollution control agency for Orange County and major portions ofLos Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside counties.