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Air quality districts urge no fireplace use during holidays | News

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Air quality districts urge no fireplace use during holidays
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SACRAMENTO, CA -- For many people, a crackling wood fire in the hearth is just part and parcel of the holiday season.

"I like it," said Greg Thompson who estimated he uses his fireplace at least two or three times a month. "I like the smell, the different aromas...we put a little flavor in our fireplace and jazz it up. We really enjoy it!"

But air quality management districts from Sacramento to Bakersfield are asking that this year, people refrain from that particular holiday tradition.

"What people don't understand," said Jamie Arno of the Sacramento Air Quality Management District, "is that the smoke from fireplaces is very unhealthy. Not only the smoke coming out of the chimney, but also the smoke seeping into the home."

EPA certified fireplace inserts and wood burning stoves are a better choice, Arno said, but if it's a "no burn day," even those types of fires aren't allowed.

"All burning with the exception of gas does contribute to the wood smoke problem, so if you're going to burn, we recommend gas," Arno said.

By Jonathan Mumm, jmumm@news10.net

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