The Bay Area Air Quality Management District has declared a
Spare the Air Alert, making it illegal to burn wood until midnight
The Bay Area Air Quality Management District has declared a Spare the Air Alert, making it illegal to burn wood until midnight tonight.
The district put the alert into effect earlier today after forecasting an already unhealthy level of quality, according to a press release. Burning wood or other solid fuel contributes to poor air quality.
It is illegal for Bay Area residents and businesses to burn wood and manufactured firelogs in fireplaces, wood stoves and inserts, pellet stoves, and outdoor fire-pits. The ban is in effect for Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, southern Sonoma and southwestern Solano counties.
Winter air pollution is mainly caused by small particle pollution or particulate matter from wood smoke, according to a district press release. Smoke from wood-burning fires is linked to illnesses such as asthma, bronchitis and lung disease, and is especially harmful for children and the elderly.
The district encourages people to check before burning wood – even when they have not heard that a Spare the Air Alert is in effect – by calling (877) 4-NO-BURN.
Unlike in summer, there is no free transit program during the winter Spare the Air season.
To sign up for alerts, find details on daily air quality or read exemptions to the rules, visit www.baaqmd.com or www.sparetheair.org.