FRESNO, Calif. (AP) - Central California air officials are proposing to further curtail residential wood burning in an effort to reduce airborne particulate pollution in the region - one of the nation's most polluted.

A plan released by the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District this week would increase the number of no-burn days for fireplaces, other wood burning heaters and outdoor devices.

No-burn restrictions based on air-quality forecasts were first introduced in 2003. They do not apply to homes where wood burning is the only source of heat.

They are intended to reduce particulate pollution, which can exacerbate lung conditions and increase the risk of heart attacks and stroke.

A health assessment accompanying the proposal says it would prevent 671 premature deaths by 2019 and reduce hospital visits and respiratory symptoms.

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