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The Status of Wood-Burning Fireplaces in Los Angeles Update

Posted on Oct 6, 2011 by in Active Rain | 0 comments

The Status of Wood-Burning Fireplaces in Los Angeles Update

In case you did not know quietly about three years ago the AQMD passed what most people call the Cal Green or also known as the AQMD Rule 445.

South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) is the air pollution control agency for all of Orange County and the urban portions of Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties, the smoggiest region of the U.S. Their goal is to be committed to protecting the health of residents and to be sensitive to businesses as well.

In September 2008, the agency adopted Rule 445 governing wood-burning devices, which required the installation of fireplaces certified by the Environmental Protection Agency as clean-burning when  Southern California homes or businesses that are remodeled. This all sounds good, but it is creating confusion amongst people who want to renovate their homes or build new homes.

open fire place for cooking

So to clarify: As of March 2009, permanent indoor and outdoor wood-burning devices such as fireplaces and stoves are not allowed to be installed in new developments.

Only open-hearth fireplaces with gas –log sets and other popular design features which do not use wood  such as flames in River Rock or Broken glass is allowed.


As of September 2008 all permanent indoor and outdoor wood burning devices can only be sold or installed in existing home and businesses if the meet one of these cleaner options:


1.       US EPA Phase II- certified fireplace insert or stove


2.      Pellet fueled wood-burning heater


3.       Masonry heater, not an open-hear wood-burning fireplace


The only attention this rule generally gets noticed is, when you are trying to build a new home and you discover that you cannot build a wood burning fireplace. The other time is from November through February. These curtailments would be in effect during days and in specific areas when poor air quality is forecast. Mandatory curtailments would be issued for specific areas in the Fall & Winter in Los Angeles. Generally you will hear on the news that you cannot use your existing wood burning fireplace and if you do you will get a fine of $500.

wood-burning fireplace

So if you do not want to get fined keep your eyes and ears to the News during the fall and winter in Los Angeles.


If you are a consumer who is considering buying or selling a home, investment real estate, vacation homes, or beach properties in Southern California, Los Angeles, Century City, Westwood, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Culver City, Marina Del Rey, Venice or Malibu. Feel Free to give me a call at 310.486.1002 email me at or visit one of my websites at Your Pet Friendly Realtor. I contribute a portion of my commission to Local Animal Rescue Organizations.






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