Butte County Air Quality Management District
629 Entler Avenue, Suite 15
Chico, CA 95928
(530) 332-9400

"Check Before You Light"

***No Restrictions on Residential Wood Heating in Effect***

The "Check Before You Light" Program for the 2014-2015 season begins Saturday, Novemer 1. There are currently no restrictions on residential wood heating. See Press Release for more information.

Do you live within the City Limits of Chico?  For information on the City's wood burning restrictions, contact 896-7800 or by email at

"Check Before You Light" is a voluntary program requesting residents to refrain from using wood stoves and fireplaces during poor air quality. The program runs from November through February. When an advisory is issued it will be posted on this website and sent to the media.

Check Before You Light TV Commercial

How To "Check Before You Light": 

  • Check Our Burn Hotline: 332-9409 or toll free at 855-332-9409
  • Check Your E-Mail: 
              Receive advance Advisory Notification by E-mail: Sign Up
              Receive an e-mail for Air Quality Forecasts:  Sign Up (Choose AQI 101 or + for Advisory)
Important Note:  Woodstove and fireplace use within the City City Limits is restricted by a new City ordinance.  For more information, please contact the City of Chico at 896-7800 or by email
Reduce Smoke When You Do Light:
  • Use only dry, well-seasoned wood. Properly seasoned wood is darker, has cracks in the grain and weighs less.
  • Keep your chimney swept and ash bin clean to improve air flow and reduce smoke.
  • Stack wood loosely in your firebox, so plenty of air circulates around it.
  • Keep the flame active. Don't let your fire smolder overnight - keep enough air in the fire to maintain a flame.
  • Check your chimney regularly to see how well your fire is burning.
  • When storing wood, stack it under covering in a dry ventilated area.
  • Properly install and maintain your EPA certified wood burning appliance. Your new appliance burns much cleaner and uses less fuel!

Need more info on Wood Stoves & Fireplaces?  Click here.

See the 2013-2014 season summary here.

"Check Before You Light" is implemented when air pollution approaches unhealthy levels. The program is aimed at keeping pollution levels of particulate matter below the health-based standards. The following files in pdf format provide additional information:

Glossary for Wood Burning Appliances

What are Temperature Inversions?