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Check Before You Burn

​No Burning Restrictions

The Sac Metro Air District's annual Check Before You Burn season has ended. It will start again on November 1, 2020.

For the daily air quality forecast, please visit

Check Before You Burn Season History

Wood Burning Status - Today and Tomorrow

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Check Before You Burn Season History

Check Before You Burn



The Sac Metro Air District's annual Check Before You Burn season runs from November 1 through the end of February. This wood burning regulation, Rule 421 Mandatory Episodic Curtailment Of Wood And Other Solid Fuel Burning, restricts or prohibits the use of all fireplaces, woodstoves, inserts and pellet stoves when fine particle pollution (PM2.5) is forecast to be high. This law applies to residents and businesses in unincorporated Sacramento County, Citrus Heights, Elk Grove, Folsom, Galt, Isleton, Rancho Cordova and Sacramento.  

Check Before You Burn is the public outreach program implemented by the Sac Metro Air District. The program provides the public with the same day and next day burn status. Residents may check this website for the burn status, call 1-877-NO-BURN-5 (1-877-662-8765) or download the free Sacramento Region Air Quality app available in all app stores.

For the daily Air Quality Index (AQI) forecast, please visit the Spare The Air website.

​Mandatory Curtailment Days

Except for those who have an exemption or waiver (see section below), mandatory curtailment days apply to anyone operating a wood burning device or lighting a fire in Sacramento County from November through February of each year. 

Stage 2 - All Burning Prohibited: It is illegal to burn any solid fuel, including wood, manufactured firelogs and pellets in any device.

Stage 1 - No Burn Unless Exempt: It is illegal to burn unless you are using an EPA certified fireplace insert or stove, or pellet stove, and they do not emit visible smoke.

Burning Discouraged: The Sac Metro Air District asks you to voluntarily not burn.

Legal to Burn: There are no restrictions to burn.

​Exemptions and Waivers

For individuals with financial hardship or those living in homes where a wood burning device is the only source of heat, you may be considered exempt from Sac Metro Air District Rule 421 by completing the Request for Exemption from the Mandatory Curtailment of Wood Burning.

Hardship Waiver: The Sac Metro Air District may approve a Hardship Waiver for those who have a compelling economic reason. To apply, fill out the Hardship Waiver form below and submit with all required information. Income and circumstances are considered. The Sac Metro Air District uses the State of California Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) local income guidelines as a starting point. If you have questions or concerns about qualifying please contact us.

Sole Source of Heat: Households that do not have any other source of heat are exempt from the provisions of the rule. By filing a sole source exemption, the Sac Metro Air District will have your residence on file as being exempt. If your heater breaks down temporarily, you may also file for this exemption until repairs are made.


Please contact the Sac Metro Air District at 916-874-4800 or 1-800-880-9025 for more information.

​Resolving Penalties and Violations

Protecting public health and reducing the harmful effects of wood smoke in Sacramento County takes everyone's cooperation. Check Before You Burn is the law in Sacramento County and it is important to pay attention to Rule 421 requirements. First time violators of Rule 421 will be issued a Notice of Penalty. Second time violators will be issued a Notice of Violation.

Notice of Penalty: Persons found in violation of Sac Metro Air District Rule 421 are subject to a first time $50 penalty. As an alternative to paying the penalty you may take and pass the Wood-Smoke-Awareness-Training-Exam.


Notice of Violation (NOV): Repeat violators will be issued an NOV and are subject to fines as determined by the Sac Metro Air District Mutual Settlement Program. See Violations & Settlements for more information about this program.

​Useful Information

  • 2014 Check Before You Burn Study: View results of the phone survey of Sacramento County residents who own an indoor or outdoor wood or pellet burning device. The study assessed public awareness, perceptions and compliance with the Check Before You Burn program.

​Promotional Toolkit  

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