Most of December and January have declared no burn days in the San Joaquin Valley because of concern from wood smoke.
Now, the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution District, which stretches from Stockton to Bakersfield, is offering rebates to homeowners who switch from wood to natural gas.
Anthony Presto of the Pollution Control District, which has strict limitations on wood burning, says gas is the ideal alternative to wood. He says, with gas, residents won't have to worry about whether or not it's a no burn day.
"Natural gas is the cleanest and most efficient way to heat your home," he says.
Wood burning is the chief source of air pollution in the San Joaquin Valley in the winter.
Valley wide it can create as much as 17 tons per day of airborne particles. Presto says this year has been particularly bad because of the dry conditions.
"Rain and wind are what cleans the valley's air, this is so far this season is the worst we've seen," Presto says.
Low-income applicants can receive rebates up to $1,500 for converting to natural gas.
Mandatory statewide water conservation rules have ended in California. But Sacramento-area users conserved 22 percent in June, compared to June 2013.
A UC Davis researcher has used pigeons to track lead pollution in New York City and plans to do the same in California cities and agricultural areas.
The state of Nevada will pay $120,000 to settle a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency complaint about storm water runoff pollution in Reno.
California is in the fifth consecutive year of drought, but state water managers ended mandatory conservation rules. Local water suppliers now determine conservation rates, and some have low or no targets. A water expert says that's 'shortsighted.'
California is in the fifth consecutive year of drought. Although mandatory statewide water conservation is over, the State Water Resources Control Board says water conservation remains a "top priority."