Are Smudge Pots Legal in California?
Californians are familiar with smudge pots as part of their landscape throughout the state since the 1920s. Smudge pots are metal containers that burn a combination of oil and tar and are used to keep citrus and other fruit trees warm during very cold temperatures. They have been a major factor in keeping California agribusiness profitable for many decades.
California Regulations on Smudge Pots
The use of smudge pots is currently regulated by the California Air Resources Board. According to the regulations in place:
- The pots must be positioned in the center of planting areas to minimize the exposure of humans.
- The pots must use only special non-petroleum oils such as light diesel fuel.
- Only one fire is allowed per acre, and a maximum of four gallons is allowed per hour.
- The burning of smudge pots must be done in a contained manner.
Health and Safety Concerns
Due to these health and safety concerns, smudge pots are no longer allowed in certain parts of the state, including in urban areas.
Overall, smudge pots are legal in California provided they are used in accordance with the regulations set forth by the California Air Resources Board. Farmers and agribusinesses must abide by these rules to ensure the safe use of smudge pots and to protect the health and safety of the people who work and live in the area.