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No-burn alert in effect in areas of Orange and Los Angeles counties

People in certain areas of Los Angeles and Orange counties are being advised not to burn wood or fire logs in indoor or outdoor fireplaces as part of a no-burn alert in effect until midnight Wednesday.

The area stretches from the north at Marina del Rey and to the south at Laguna Niguel, and goes east to Anaheim Hills. This is the first time that L.A. coastal areas and Orange County are on the list, said Sam Atwood, a spokesman for the South Coast Air Quality Management District.

The alert is part of a 3-year-old Check Before You Burn program. Natural gas fireplaces are exempt.

A combination of diminishing Santa Ana winds and an anticipated layer of fog and a sea breeze has made the air stagnant in the area. Wood smoke, which contains thousands of pollutants, could make the air unhealthy for certain groups of people, Atwood said.

Residents can enter their ZIP code at the South Coast Air Quality Management District website to check whether their homes are affected.

People who ignore the alert could be fined $50 for a first-time violation or attend a wood smoke awareness course to skip the fine. A second violation carries a $150 fine and a third violation is $500. To report violations, residents can call 1-(800)-CUT-SMOG.

The program runs from Nov. 1 to Feb. 28. This is the third alert this season.

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-- Nicole Santa Cruz

 
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