The season’s tenth winter Spare the Air alert was issued for Saturday.

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District alert bans burning wood, manufactured fire logs or any other solid fuel, both indoors and outdoors for 24 hours.

This winter Spare the Air alert was called due to a regional high-pressure system across the Bay Area this weekend. Still weather conditions have allowed air pollution levels to rise and are expected to reach unhealthy levels on Saturday in the region.

“Wood smoke is the ‘other secondhand smoke,’ with many of the same harmful qualities as cigarette smoke,” said Jack Broadbent, executive officer of the air district.

It is illegal for Bay Area residents and businesses to use their fireplaces, wood stoves, pellet stoves, outdoor fire pits, or any other wood-burning devices during a winter Spare the Air alert. Homes without permanently installed heating, where wood stoves or fireplaces are the only source of heat, are exempt.

This winter, first-time violators are given the option to take a wood smoke awareness class, online or by mail, to learn about the hazards of wood smoke pollution in lieu of paying a penalty. Second violations will result in a $500 ticket and subsequent ticket amounts will be higher.

The public must check before they burn during the winter Spare the Air season, which runs from Nov. 1 through Feb. 28. The daily burn status can be found:

• On the air district websites: baaqmd.gov or sparetheair.org

• Via the toll-free hotline 1-877-4-NO-BURN (complaints can also be filed via the hotline)

• By signing up for AirAlerts at sparetheair.org or phone alerts at 1-800-430-1515

In the winter, wood smoke from the 1.4 million fireplaces and wood stoves in the Bay Area is the single largest source of air pollution, contributing about one-third of the harmful fine particulate pollution in the air. Exposure to wood smoke — like cigarette smoke — has been linked to serious respiratory illnesses and even increased risk of heart attacks.

(9) comments

robosan
robosan

They allow burning vineyard wood because they get money for it--you have to pay a fee for doing that and they get a cut. They allow refineries to spew cancer-causing chemicals in the air because they each pay millions of dollars to the Air District each year. It's a pay-to-pollute game...

babybirds
babybirds

Why can't you people understand that we (here in Californis don't live in a bubble and have the same air to breath or live in everyday), were you all absent that day when it came up in the science class?????? Because of third world countries we end up breathing and inhaling their dirty air. I don't understand why people let the government get away with stringing us along with all the restrictions about air control!!!!

gettingreal
gettingreal

You don't believe in Chemtrails? Look up now!

REPUBLICANKID
REPUBLICANKID

How about all the vineyard burns?

rocketman
rocketman

........apparently burning vineyard wood doesn't produce "harmful qualities".

rocketman
rocketman

I wonder why the BAAQMD hasn't filed a lawsuit on this agency???

"The U.S. Forest expects to begin prescribed fire operations on Spooner Summit (near Lake Tahoe) starting Tuesday, according to a statement from the agency.

Crews expect to burn about 10 acres per day, weather permitting. Operations will continue through the week as weather and conditions allow, according to the statement.

Residents and visitors can expect to see smoke from the area. Smoke-sensitive residents should consider staying indoors and keeping doors, windows and outside vents closed. (See how the US Forest Service deals with it.)

To directly receive prescribed fire updates, send an email to pa_ltbmu@fs.fed.us. "


rocketman
rocketman

Here is their exact statement:

"This winter Spare the Air alert was called due to a regional high-pressure system across the Bay Area this weekend. Still weather conditions have allowed air pollution levels to rise and are expected to reach unhealthy levels on Saturday in the region."

So if air pollution levels are expected to reach unhealthy levels on Saturday, wouldn't that be the BEST day to burn because nothing changes? Why would we burn on days where the air quality is healthy? To make it unhealthy??

gettingreal
gettingreal

Of course the air will be bad tomorrow. Anyone else see all the chemical spraying this evening? They pollute our air and blame us for it. How long do we put up with this?

robosan
robosan

The Air District just released a study saying that, for the years 2008-2012, the Bay Area has attained the EPA 2.5 micron particulate matter goal. According to the EPA, this means that we do not have a particulate matter problem in the Bay Area and yet the Air District still issues no-burn days? It seems as though their bans have nothing to do with science...

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