In Sacramento County wood burning in fireplaces and wood stoves creates 50 percent of wintertime air pollution, mainly composed of fine particulate matter. This type of pollution is a serious health threat. In order to protect public health, the SacMetro AQMD regulates the type of wood burning appliances (fireplaces, wood stoves, pellet stoves) that can be installed in Sacramento County.
In addition, from November through February the SacMetro AQMD restricts the use of wood burning appliances when the fine particle pollution level is predicted to be elevated (Check Before You Burn). For information about fires that do not occur in a wood burning appliance, such as campfires or bonfires see Outdoor Burning.
SacMetro AQMD Rule 417 prohibits the installation of any indoor or outdoor, permanently installed fireplaces after October 26, 2007 in any residential or commercial building. Traditional, open-hearth fireplaces are no longer legal to sell or install in Sacramento County.
SacMetro AQMD has a number of rules and regulatations that apply to the operation of a wood burning appliance in Sacramento County:
Rule 402 prohibits discharges, including smoke from a fire, that create a public nuisance.
Rule 417 prohibits the use of certain fuel types in wood burning appliances such as garbage, treated wood, plastic products, glossy or colored paper, particle board etc.
Rule 417 Advisory - This advisory contains important information regarding the sale and installation of fireplaces and wood stoves.
List of EPA Phase II certified wood burning heaters – These wood burning heaters are legal to install under Rule 417 and can be used on Stage 1 no-burn days if they do not emit visible smoke.
California Air Resources Board Wood Burning Handbook - This handbook provides information about the air pollutants in wood smoke, health effects of smoke, how wood burns, why it smokes and how you can reduce wood smoke pollution.
Burn Wise - EPA recommendations on how to burn wisely.