Air Quality Health Advisory



The Northern Sierra Air Quality Management District (District) is issuing an air quality advisory to notify the public of potentially poor air quality conditions associated with wood burning.  The District recommends avoiding the use of any wood burning device (including wood stoves, fireplaces, fire pits and cook stoves) to prevent potential health impacts and an exceedance of federal/state air pollution standards.  Use a non-wood burning form of heat such as electricity, propane or kerosene, if possible.

Residential wood smoke is a major source of wintertime air pollution.  During at least the next 24 hours, weather forecasts indicate stagnant conditions which mean that warm air aloft will keep colder air at ground level and any smoke produced to heat homes will remain in the breathing zone.

With your help, Portola can CLEAR THE AIR and improve community health.  Here’s how:

  • Light ONLY in EPA certified devices.
  • Use only dry, well-seasoned wood (<20% moisture content).
  • Go outside and look at the chimney to make sure it is burning hot enough so that smoke is not being emitted. A proper fire should produce only heat waves once draft is created.
  • NEVER burn garbage or chemically treated wood.
  • Do not let creosote build up in your chimney (avoid wet wood; clean the chimney annually).

Are you eligible for funding to replace your current uncertified wood stove (or qualified fireplace) with a new EPA certified stove?  Contact the District at 530-832-0102 to find out!

Exposure to elevated PM2.5 concentrations can result in eye and throat irritation, headaches, nausea, shortness of breath, congestion, coughing, impaired lung function, chest pain and premature death, especially among sensitive individuals such as the elderly, children, people with asthma and people with heart or lung conditions.

Check Wintertime Air Quality Advisories at

  • 530-832-4067

Information on current air quality can be found at: