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Spare The Air Alert Issued For Fourth Consecutive Day

A ban on wood burning has been ordered for Saturday by Bay Area air quality officials

Now make it four in a row.

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District has issued a Spare the Air alert for Saturday.

It's the fourth straight day a wood burning prohibition will be in effect. It's also the seventh air quality alert issued since Jan. 1.

The alerts have been triggered by the high pressure system that has dominated the West Coast in the past week. The cold overnight temperatures and light winds are trapping wood smoke pollution near the ground.

The National Weather Service forecast shows the weather pattern will continue until at least Tuesday with highs in the East Bay in the low 60s and overnight temperatures dipping to about 40 degrees.

"Another day of cold, stagnant weather means another day of unhealthy air quality,” said Jack Broadbent, executive officer of the air district. "Wood smoke is the other second-hand smoke and Bay Area residents need to do their part to protect their families and neighbors by not lighting up their fireplaces and wood stoves."

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.

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.

Weechee Warrick January 19, 2013 at 06:41 PM
Whole family has flu. We'll be huddled around the fire all day. Cheers.
Tim January 19, 2013 at 06:46 PM
Better be careful. Your tax dollars are paying for upwards of 60 fireplace Nazis, err, I mean inspectors, to actively locate criminals like yourself who have the audacity to have a fire in their fireplace on a "ban" day. How dare you! We need to have fireplace and wood burning stove registration. It's for the good of the community.
David January 19, 2013 at 06:51 PM
Firing up the grill today. it's going to be nice and smoky.
Davis January 19, 2013 at 06:52 PM
It's amazing that this bureauracy can declare an overtime day for their Fireplace Nazis at the taxpayers expense!
tr January 20, 2013 at 12:09 AM
there are no nazis being paid overtime to issue citations. nazis killed children, the elderly, men and women in an attempt to rule the world and eliminate jews, christians, gays, mentally and physically impaired. they also tortured and enslaved many people. about 184,000 americans died in europe fighting the nazis. u might think about that before throwing around that n-word. i think it will more likely be a neighbor who turns you in for breaking the law. btw, if u like breathing polluted air, maybe you should move to phoenix or beijing.
Freedom Walker January 20, 2013 at 11:10 PM
Selfish and ignorant people pollute the air unnecessarily hurting health of people around them. I prefer to wear more warm layers of clothing, and breath cleaner air for my health. Learn more about carcinogenic wood smoke pollution issues at ----- http://burningissues.org ----- Burning solid fuel yields particulate pollution - solid particles smaller than a red blood cell which have been implicated in 30,000 deaths in the US and 2.1 million deaths world wide per year. . "Particulate pollution is the most important contaminant in our air. ...we know that when particle levels go up, people die1. " Indeed, wood smoke is chemically active in the body 40 times longer than tobacco2. 1. Joel Schwartz, Ph.D., Harvard School of Public Health, E Magazine, Sept./Oct. 2002 2. Wm. A Pryor, Persistent Free Radicals in Woodsmoke: An ESR Spin Trapping Study, Free Radical Biology and Medicine 1989, 7(1): 17-21 “Each year, smoke from wood stoves and fireplaces contributes over 420,000 tons of fine particles throughout the country – mostly during the winter months. Nationally, residential wood combustion accounts for 44 percent of total stationary and mobile polycyclic organic matter (POM) emissions and 62 percent of the 7-polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), which are probable human carcinogens and are of great concern to EPA.”
Freedom Walker January 20, 2013 at 11:11 PM
A tea made from fresh, chopped ginger root, with honey and lemon, will make you feel quite warm, in addition to boosting your immune system! :-)
Freedom Walker January 20, 2013 at 11:21 PM
Health hazards of wood smoke: http://burningissues.org is a very helpful site.
Weechee Warrick January 21, 2013 at 05:30 AM
It was really smoking here today! Loved it. Smelled like January. Sometimes people with disabilities need to understand they have disabilities. Don't like smoke? Stay inside with your hepa.
David January 21, 2013 at 04:06 PM
A classic quote: There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What’s there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted – and you create a nation of law-breakers – and then you cash in on guilt. Now, that’s the system, Mr. Rearden, that’s the game, and once you understand it, you’ll be much easier to deal with.”
Rob Rich January 22, 2013 at 03:32 AM
No "Weechee", people w/disabilities don't need to "stay inside" for your benefit. Here's an idea, keep your pollution on your own yard. You may not care about COPD, but what right do you have to pollute my property?
tr January 22, 2013 at 09:41 PM
Great philosophy. Do you defecate on your neighbor's lawn too? Here's another classic quote, "Live simply so that others may simply live."
tr January 22, 2013 at 09:42 PM
How long does it take for a comment "pending approval" to be approved?
Tim January 22, 2013 at 10:14 PM
Apparently not long enough.

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