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.
About 2,000 people are expected to help remove trash along Sacramento's American River Parkway this Saturday. The Great American River Cleanup is part of Coastal Cleanup Day, the state's largest annual volunteer event held in mid-September.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today added an historic Amador County gold mine to the list of the nation's worst toxic sites. Argonaut Mine is located west of downtown Jackson. It operated from the 1850s to the early 1940s.
A new study shows fire-fighting foam containing highly fluorinated chemicals is contaminating drinking water supplies around many of the nation's military bases, airports and industrial sites.
Update 8:00 p.m. Sunday: Crews are making "good progress" on the Cold Fire in Yolo County, now at 60% containment. In Monterey County, the Soberanes Fire remains at 45% containment with wind creating an additional challenge for firefighters.
The Soberanes Fire near Big Sur is burning in a rugged area that hasn't "seen fire in decades." The wildfire is 45 percent contained at 57,500 acres.