Pollution concerns have prompted the South Coast AQMD to extend a wood burning ban for non-desert areas of of Los Angeles County, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties from Christmas Day through Monday.

“South Coast AQMD reminds residents in these areas that burning wood in their fireplaces or any indoor or outdoor wood-burning device is prohibited during the mandatory wood-burning ban,” the agency said. “The no burn rule prohibits burning wood as well as manufactured fire logs, such as those made from wax or paper.”

No-burn days, which are issued when air pollution is expected to be high, prohibit wood burning in the affected areas, as the smoke can cause health problems.

Not included in the ban, however, are mountain communities above 3,000 feet in elevation, as well as the Coachella Valley and the High Desert.

Also excluded are “homes that rely on wood as a sole source of heat, low-income households and those without natural gas service,” the announcement said. The use of gas and other non-wood-burning fireplaces are not restricted.

“Particles in wood smoke – also known as fine particulate matter or PM2.5 – can get deep into the lungs and cause respiratory problems (including asthma attacks), increases in emergency room visits and hospitalizations,” South Coast AQMD said.