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1st-ever no-burn order instated in Los Angeles

November 24, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
Concerns over air quality have prompted a first-ever no-burn ban in Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley.

According to the Air Quality Management District, the ban runs from midnight Saturday to midnight Sunday and affects downtown Los Angeles, West Hollywood and Los Angeles east of Fairfax Avenue, Vernon, Maywood and East Los Angeles west of the 710 Freeway and Los Angeles north of Slauson Avenue. Areas in the San Fernando Valley that are affected include Burbank and the area approximately bounded on the south by the 2, 5 and 101 Freeways, on the west by the 405 Freeway and on the north by the 210 Freeway.

Fines for breaking the ban can run from $50-$500.

A no-burn order was set to go in effect in the Riverside area all day Monday.

For Nancy Colantoni of Valley Village, being curled up by the fireplace is one of her favorite spots in her house.

"It's not that cold right now so I'm not that upset but if it was cold we would make a fire," she said.

Last fall the AQMD enacted new air pollution rules giving it the power to put out all wood burning fires, indoors and out. It is a move that comes as a surprise to many.

"I never heard of anything like that," said Matt Wolfson of Valley Village. "I was surprised. I thought it was danger from houses burning down."

It's the danger to lungs that has officials ordering L.A.'s first no-burn order, and it's an unusual weather pattern that's to blame.

"It happens when the weather conditions become stagnant and sometimes fog can contribute to it but the reason is to protect the health of the millions of people who breathe in the Los Angeles basin," said Sam Atwood with South coast Air Quality Management District.

No-burn alerts are very common in northern and central California. The AQMD says it expects to issue about 10-15 alerts in Southern California this winter.

To see if you live in a no-burn area, visit the AQMD website.


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