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UPDATE: Record 9th Consecutive Winter Spare the Air Alert Called for Monday

Use of wood-burning devices is prohibited.

See also "Napa Man Wants to Puncture 'Spare the Air' Bubble.
UPDATE: Sunday, pm. Dec. 15, 2013

By Bay City News Service

Another "Spare the Air" alert has been issued for the Bay Area on Monday, banning fires and wood burning for the ninth straight day.

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District issued the alert --its 13th since the district's Winter Spare the Air season began Nov. 1 -- because of an ongoing cold weather pattern that is trapping pollution close to the ground.

"We appreciate the cooperation of Bay Area residents in reducing their wood burning during this long spell of dry and stagnant weather," BAAQMD executive officer Jack Broadbent said in a statement.

UPDATE: Saturday a.m. Dec. 14, 2013

                                                                                                            The Bay Area Air Quality Management District is issuing the season’s eleventh Winter Spare the Air Alert for Saturday, Dec. 14, which bans the burning of wood, manufactured fire logs or any other solid fuel both indoors and outdoors for 24 hours.

The Air District is calling a seventh straight Winter Spare the Air Alert as the result of a persistent cold, stagnant weather pattern that has affected the Bay Area all week.  Hazardous fine particulate pollution continues to be trapped close to the ground and is forecast to build up again to unhealthy levels on Saturday. This weather system is also affecting air quality in Sacramento and the Central Valley, triggering wood-burning bans all week in those regions as well



 UPDATE: Thursday, p.m. Dec. 12, 2013

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District is issuing the season’s tenth Winter Spare the Air Alert for Friday, Dec. 13, which bans the burning of wood, manufactured fire logs or any other solid fuel both indoors and outdoors for 24 hours.

The Air District is calling a sixth straight Winter Spare the Air Alert as the result of a persistent cold, stagnant weather pattern that has affected the Bay Area all week.  Hazardous fine particulate pollution continues to be trapped close to the ground and is forecast to build up again to unhealthy levels on Friday.

UPDATE: Wednesday p.m. Dec. 11, 2013

A record fifth consecutive Winter Spare the Air Alert called for
Thursday, Dec.12 by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.

The BAAQMD is issuing the season’s ninth Winter Spare the Air Alert,  which bans the burning of wood, manufactured fire logs or any other solid fuel both indoors and outdoors for 24 hours.


UPDATE: Tuesday, p.m. Dec. 10, 2013

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District is issuing the season’s eighth Winter Spare the Air Alert for Wednesday, Dec. 11, which bans the burning of wood, manufactured fire logs or any other solid fuel both indoors and outdoors for 24 hours.

A prolonged stretch of extremely cold, stagnant weather continues to linger in the Bay Area, causing the Air District to call a fourth straightWinter Spare the Air Alert.  Air pollution will be trapped close to the ground and is expected to build up again to unhealthy levels on Wednesday.


UPDATE: Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013
A seventh Winter Spare the Air Alert has been called for today, Tuesday, Dec. 10. The alert bans the burning of wood, manufactured fire logs or any other solid fuel both indoors and outdoors for 24 hours.   

UPDATE: Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District is issuing the season’s sixth Winter Spare the Air Alert for Monday, Dec. 9, which bans the burning of wood, manufactured fire logs or any other solid fuel both indoors and outdoors for 24 hours.                                                                                           

PREVIOUSLY:

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District is issuing the season’s fifth Winter Spare the Air Alert for Sunday, Dec. 8, which bans the use of wood, manufactured fire logs or any other solid fuel both indoors and outdoors for 24 hours.

Cold weather accompanied by a high pressure system will blanket the Bay Area Sunday, trapping wood smoke close to the ground and allowing fine particulate pollution to rise to unhealthy levels.

"It's important that Bay Area residents do their part to protect their families and neighbors by not lighting up their fireplaces and wood stoves,” said Jack Broadbent, executive officer of the Air District.

“Wood smoke is the 'other second-hand smoke' -- it’s hazardous like cigarette smoke but has broader public health impacts when it builds up in our communities on cold, still days and nights,” he said.

Like cigarette smoke, wood smoke contains fine particles and carcinogenic substances that make the air harmful to breathe.  Wood smoke is the major source of air pollution in the Bay Area in the wintertime and is especially harmful to children, the elderly and people with respiratory conditions.

It is illegal for Bay Area residents and businesses to use their fireplaces, woodstoves, 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.

First-time violators will be given the option of taking a wood smoke awareness class, online or by mail, to learn about the hazards of wood smoke pollution in lieu of paying a $100 ticket. 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:

  • On the Air District Web sites: www.baaqmd.gov or www.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 www.sparetheair.org or phone alerts at 1-800-430-1515
  • Via the Spare the Air iPhone and Android Apps

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. Breathing fine particles accounts for more than 90 percent of premature deaths related to air pollution.

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District (www.baaqmd.gov) is the regional agency responsible for protecting air quality in the nine-county Bay Area. For more information about Spare the Air, visit www.sparetheair.org.











MICHAEL WILSON "TEA PARTY 2014" December 07, 2013 at 11:27 PM
Nice so you can breath ease and freeze to death at the same time.
Unfiltered Steve Simoneau December 08, 2013 at 01:39 PM
So if I see a restaurant making pizzas in a wood-fired oven tonight I'll be sure to tell them I'm going to turn them in. Anyone care to join me for free pizza?
MICHAEL WILSON "TEA PARTY 2014" December 08, 2013 at 03:56 PM
Ha Steve What about the 10 or 15 houses that will burn to the ground, when the owners use the gas stove to heat the place.
Unfiltered Steve Simoneau December 10, 2013 at 11:27 PM
Sweet! Another evening of FREE wood-fired pizzas! The ones I had last night were delicious!
Amor Ascendente December 11, 2013 at 12:23 AM
Ugh.
bluecollardoctor December 11, 2013 at 12:21 PM
In Sacramento, wood fired cooking appliances are exempt from the restriction. So that may be the case here too. I am all for reducing pollution and restricting frivolous fires outdoors or in fireplaces for entertainment/ambiance on bad air days. However there should have been some provision to suspend the ban on days with forecast lows below freezing. There should also be no means test for financial hardship.
Tom Davidson December 11, 2013 at 10:07 PM
Restaurants are governed by their own agency, according to the TV news while ex plaining why they aren't regulated by BAAQMD.
Tom Davidson December 11, 2013 at 11:16 PM
The first four days were so clear, the BAAQMD had to keep calling for burn bans until they finally got a day that was hazy. Their incompetent "scientists" are starting to seem like power-greedy politicians. I guess you don't need to demonstrate credibility when you are beyond checks and balances. Great work, BAAQMD.
Keri Brenner (Editor) December 12, 2013 at 12:12 AM
Hmmm... Tom, this sounds like the story I just wrote "Napa Man Wants to Puncture "Spare the Air" Bubble...Hmmmm. But I know you are not the "whistleblower" on that story...
Unfiltered Steve Simoneau December 13, 2013 at 02:06 AM
The article states that the Spare-The_Air "bans the burning of wood, manufactured fire logs or any other solid fuel both indoors and outdoors for 24 hours". The article does NOT specify different regulations for restaurant/commercial ovens.
Unfiltered Steve Simoneau December 14, 2013 at 01:44 PM
Does anyone recall that last year I predicted that the BAAQMD would begin creating Spare-The-Air weeks instead of days? Well, here ya go, "Record 7th Spare-The-Air day in a row." Entire month bans will be next followed by a general wood-burning ban from late November to early February. This is known as "Progressive Encroachment".

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