Residential Wood Smoke Reduction Program

FAQ: Residential Wood Burning Rule 4901

The Residential Wood Smoke Reduction Program is an educational program that notifies you when you can use your residential wood burning device. From Nov. 1 through February, we issue a daily wood-burning status for each county to let you know if you can burn.

The Valley's challenges in meeting the ever-toughening federal air quality standards are unmatched by any other region in the nation due to the Valley's unique topography, geography and meteorology. Attaining the multiple federal air standards by the mandated deadlines is not possible without significant additional reductions in residential wood smoke emissions. During the winter season, wood smoke from residential wood burning is a key contributor to PM2.5 emissions in the Valley.

Emissions from residential wood burning occurs in neighborhoods where Valley residents live and have significant and direct impact on human health. When wood burning devices are used, residents are exposed to wood smoke from their own wood burning devices and from their neighbor's devices. Scientific studies how that prolonged inhalation of wood smoke contributes to a variety of health impacts, including lung disease, pulmonary arterial hypertension, and pulmonary heart disease.

Valley businesses are currently subject to the most stringent air quality regulations in the nation. Since 1992, the District has adopted nearly 650 rules to implement an aggressive on-going control strategy to reduce emissions in the Valley, resulting in air quality benefits throughout the Valley. Emissions from stationary sources have been reduced by over 90%.

Yes. Valley residents will be able to use their certified devices on days when the declaration is "No Burning Unless Registered" in their county as long as their device is registered and operated in compliance to Rule 4901.

There are three different ways to tell if your wood burning stove/insert/heater is EPA certified.

When the District's daily declaration for your county is "No Burning Unless Registered," only registered devices can be used. Visit to learn how to register your device. In order to qualify for registration, your device must be certified to meet EPA Phase II requirements (at the time of purchase and installation) or is a pellet-fueled wood burning heater exempt from EPA certification requirements. Residences with no access to piped-in natural gas (even if you use propane) are not required to register their devices.

f you do not have computer access, you can call your local District office and request a hard-copy registration application to be mailed to you.

Fresno – 559-230-6000, Bakersfield – 661-392-5500, Modesto – 209-557-6400

Yes. The counties in the Valley with the biggest air pollution challenges have been identified as Hot Spots. Those hot spot counties (Fresno, Madera and Kern) will see fewer days when wood burning devices can be used because they face a lower episodic curtailment level (see graphic on next page).

Residents should continue to check burn declarations by calling 1-800-SMOG INFO (1-800-766-4463), visiting or checking the “Valley Air” app.

The District's Fireplace & Woodstove Change-Out program will give you money toward the purchase of natural gas or propane stoves and inserts. You can get up to $3000 toward your purchase depending on your location and income (or $4,000 if selecting the electric heat pump option)! Visit our website at

Either the landlord or the tenant can receive incentive funding through the District's Fireplace & Woodstove Change-Out program. During the application process, landlords will have to provide documentation verifying that their tenant is low income. Similarly, tenants applying must get permission from their landlord to install a new device. Go to to review low-income eligibility guidelines.

These devices are not eligible to be registered, therefore they can only be used on days when the burn status is "Burning Discouraged." Any outdoor device that uses only gas or propane can be used anytime.

Those exemptions have not changed. Contact the District for more information.