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Check Before You Burn

​No Wood Burning Restrictions

The Sac Metro Air District's annual Check Before You Burn season has ended. It will start again on November 1, 2023.

For outdoor burning information (prescribed, agricultural open, or recreational), please click here.

For the daily air quality forecast, please visit

Check Before You Burn Season History

Wood Burning Status - Today and Tomorrow

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For outdoor burning information (prescribed, agricultural, open or recreational), please click here.

For the daily air quality forecast, please visit

Check Before You Burn Season History


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.

​Burn Day Status Categories

Except for those who have an exemption or waiver (see the section below), burn day status categories 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 fire logs, and pellets, in any device.

Stage 1 - No Burn Unless ExemptIt is illegal to burn unless you use an EPA certified fireplace insert or stove or pellet stove, and it does not emit visible smoke. 

To check if your fireplace insert or stove is EPA certified, go to Woodstove Database | Burnwise | US EPA.

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

Legal to Burn: There are no restrictions to burn.


Individuals with financial hardship or those living in homes where a wood burning device is the only source of heat may be considered for an exemption from Sac Metro Air District Rule 421 by completing an Exemption Request online or download and return the Exemption Request Form via mail. Please be sure to include all requested information and documentation when submitting an exemption request

Hardship Exemption:  Households with a compelling economic reason may be eligible for a hardship exemption. Income and circumstances are considered. The State of California Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) local income guidelines are used as a starting point in making a determination. 

Sole Source of Heat: Households that do not have any other source of heat are exempt from the provisions of the rule and are encouraged to file an exemption request to ensure the Sac Metro Air District has their residence on file as being exempt. A temporary exemption may also be requested until repairs are made if your heater breaks down.

If you have questions or concerns about qualifying or have additional questions about how to request an exemption please contact us at 279-207-1122 ext 11. You may also email us at

​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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