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How To Burn Clean and Green

  1. Always check that your flue is open before lighting your fire and that you have adequate draft up your chimney.
  2. Have your chimney inspected and cleaned annually by a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep®. Click here to find a certified sweep in your area.
  3. Never burn garbage or plastic.
  4. Regularly remove ashes from your fireplace to maintain proper airflow. Always empty the ashes into a metal container with a lid and store outside on a concrete surface.
  5. Use manufactured fire logs instead of wood; they burn up to 80% cleaner than an equivalent duration wood fire.
  6. If you burn wood, use only dry, seasoned cordwood (dried for at least 6 months with less than 20% moisture).
  7. Although gas fireplaces are often touted as the cleanest burning alternative to firewood due to their low fine particulate emissions, 99% of their combustion emissions are greenhouse gases from non-renewable fossil fuel.
Particulate matter, called PM, is a mixture of solid and liquid particles in the air. The term PM10 is matter that is 10 micrometers in diameter. That would be about one-seventh the width of a strand of human hair. PM2.5, sometimes called fine particles, is even smaller – measuring 2.5 micrometers or less. Fine particles are emitted secondarily from multiple sources such as automobiles, fireplaces and industrial plants. When the PM2.5 concentration levels in the air reach a certain threshold, some air districts restrict the use of fireplaces to help improve air quality on those days. Exposure to particle pollution can aggravate health issues related to the lungs, such as asthma and bronchitis. Also susceptible are individuals in higher risk groups such as the elderly, children and persons with other health problems such as heart disease and diabetes. For more information on health risks associated with air pollution, visit the