The Bay Area Air Quality Management District is issuing the season’s third Winter Spare the Air Alert for Tuesday, which bans burning wood, manufactured fire logs or any other solid fuel, both indoors and outdoors for 24 hours.
This alert is an attempt to keep pollution levels from becoming unhealthy, said Jack Broadbent, executive officer of the Air District. “Cold, still weather conditions will lead to excessive build-up of wood smoke unless people refrain from using their fireplaces and wood stoves.”
It is illegal for Bay Area residents and businesses to use their fireplaces, woodstoves and inserts, pellet stoves, outdoor fire pits, or any other wood-burning devices during a Winter Spare the Air Alert. Homes without permanently installed heating, where woodstoves or fireplaces are the only source of heat, are exempt.
Starting this winter, first-time violators will be 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 November 1 through February 28. The daily burn status can be found:
• 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