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Air District Cautions Against Burning Wood Thursday

Burning is not illegal today, but it is not recommended in this winter dry weather spell.

Contributed by Bay Area Air Quality Management District:

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District is recommending that Bay Area residents not burn wood in their fireplaces or woodstoves on Thursday, Jan. 3, to prevent air quality from becoming unhealthy.

A Winter Spare the Air Alert is NOT in effect on Thursday and wood burning is not illegal, but strongly discouraged. Winter Spare the Air Alerts were issued on Tuesday and Wednesday.

"Clear and dry weather is expected to continue throughout the week," said Jack Broadbent, executive officer of the Bay Area Air District. "We are asking the public to voluntarily refrain from burning on Thursday to help reduce pollution levels during this mid-winter dry period."

In the wintertime, when the weather remains cold and stagnant for several days, wood smoke can build up to unhealthy levels. When this weather pattern is in place and pollution levels are rising, the Air District will ask Bay Area residents to not burn wood. 

Recommended no-burn days help to keep pollution levels from building to unhealthy levels, and may help to avoid calling a Winter Spare the Air Alert later in the week.

It is important for Bay Area residents to continue to check each day 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 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 by signing up for phone alerts at 800-430-1515.

Wood smoke is the largest source of wintertime air pollution in the Bay Area. It contains harmful pollutants such as soot and carbon monoxide, as well as toxins such as dioxin. In the winter, wood smoke from the 1.4 million fireplaces and wood stoves in the Bay Area contributes about one third of the harmful airborne soot pollution. Wood smoke can cause breathing difficulties for many individuals, especially children, seniors and those with heart or lung conditions.

John Hanson January 03, 2013 at 05:50 PM
Next they will be telling us, when we can flush.
Todd Mirkin January 03, 2013 at 09:25 PM
They already told us real toilets can't be used, fight? Now we have double flush. (rolls eyes)
Todd Mirkin January 03, 2013 at 09:29 PM
Apply the law of expansion and compression here. It's not a theory. It's a law of Physics. There are few laws of Physics in comparison to laws. Colder = compression of particles = more particles per the same given area than when it's warmer = CARB telling us not to BBQ or use or Fireplaces Many a person is being taken for a fool while their lives are being controlled by the government.
Bucksnort January 04, 2013 at 04:32 PM
These "smoke Nazis" have twice sent me a large envelope containing their informational crap at the cost of $1.50 per mailing. This is because my a**hole neighbor has ratted me out twice (they weren't "NO BURN" days) thru their website. You talk about wasteful government spending! The second one I wrote "return to sender" (with some other kind words) on the envelope and threw it in the mailbox. How many of these mailings must go out at $1.50 a pop?? BAAQMD and CARB should be abolished. This is the kind of useless spending that voters just endorsed by voting for Prop 30. Can't wait to ride the 200mph train from Merced to Fresno either.

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