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Keep Sparing the Air--Wood Burning Ban Extended

This marks a full week for the Alert.

Fireplaces will remain cold and dark for a 7th straight day. (Photo: Patch Archive)
Fireplaces will remain cold and dark for a 7th straight day. (Photo: Patch Archive)

A wood-burning ban in the Bay Area has extended to a full week after a seventh-straight "Winter Spare the Air" alert was issued for Saturday.

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District issued the alert - its 11th 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.

On Winter Spare the Air days, wood burning is banned both indoors and outdoors, with exemptions for homes where wood burning is the sole heat source, according to the air district.

Wood smoke is the major source of air pollution in the Bay Area during the winter and is especially harmful to children, the elderly and those with respiratory conditions, district officials said.

First-time violators of the ban can take a wood smoke awareness class or pay a $100 ticket. Subsequent violations will result in increasing fines.

The daily burn status in the Bay Area can be found online at www.baaqmd.gov or www.sparetheair.org, by calling (877) 4-NO-BURN or by signing up for Spare the Air iPhone or Android apps.

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