The San Joaquin Valley saw greater pollution during the winter months this season and that called for more “no burn” days prohibiting the use of wood-burning fireplaces.
The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District stretches from San Joaquin County down to Kern, totaling eight counties in all.
During the previous season, the county’s air pollution district enacted 28 “no burn days,” but that number jumped to 134 this year — about a 400% increase from November to the end of February. The number of citations for people breaking the rules was almost double the previous year, going from 464 to 831 violations this year.
San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District Communications Manager Heather Heinks says the lingering smoke from wildfires combined with windy days increased the valley’s pollution.
“Looking at notices of violations, it’s kind of hand-in-hand,” Heinks said. “You get more ‘no burn’ days. That’s more opportunities for someone that wasn’t aware of the rule, or forgot about the rules, or checked and didn’t pay attention to the rule.”
Heinks says due to COVID restrictions many more people were spending the days at home.
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