Due to anticipated high levels of air pollution, indoor and outdoor wood-burning will be prohibited Saturday in much of the South Coast Basin, according to the South Coast Air Quality Management District.

The agency issued a mandatory “no-burn” alert that will be in effect until 11:59 p.m. for everyone living in the basin, including Orange County, the non-desert portions of Los Angeles County, Riverside County and San Bernardino counties. It does not apply to mountain communities above 3,000 feet, the Coachella Valley or the High Desert, nor to low-income households and homes that rely on wood as a sole source of heat, according to the SCAQMD.

The order bans burning wood or manufactured fire logs not only in fireplaces, but in any indoor or outdoor wood-burning device. People can still use gas and other non-wood-burning fireplaces.

“No-burn alerts are mandatory in order to protect public health when levels of fine particulate air pollution in the region are forecast to be high,” according to the agency. “Smoke from wood burning can cause health problems.”

Particles in wood smoke, known as fine particulate matter — or PM2.5 — can get deep into the lungs and cause respiratory problems, including asthma attacks.

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By Kelley Wheeler

Kelley Wheeler is a Metro reporter covering political issues and general assignments. A second-generation journalist, worked with all major news outlet, she holds a vast expeirience. Kelley is a graduate of USC with degrees in journalism and English literature. She is a recipient of Yale’s Poynter Fellowship in Journalism.

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