News

Bay Area sees unprecedented 10th straight 'Winter Spare the Air' alert

Wood burning remains banned for all, except homes with no other heat source

A record 10th consecutive Winter Spare the Air alert has been issued for Tuesday (Dec. 17) by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, banning wood burning in the region.

An ongoing cold weather pattern combined with low winds have prompted the string of alerts, issued by the air district when air pollution rises to unhealthy levels.

The alert is the 14th since the district's Winter Spare the Air season began on Nov. 1 and bans wood burning both indoors and outdoors, except for homes that have no other source of heat.

First-time violators of the ban are offered a wood smoke awareness class or a $100 ticket. Subsequent violations can lead to increasing fines, according to the district.

The daily burn status in the Bay Area can be found online at the BAAQMD or Spare the Air websites, by calling (877) 4-NO-BURN or by signing up for Spare the Air mobile apps.

— Bay City News Service

Comments

Posted by BURN BABY BURN, a resident of Downtown
on Dec 17, 2013 at 11:23 am

WHAT A JOKE ! ON THE COLDEST NIGHTS OF THE YEAR, YOU ARE NOT SUPPOSE TO HAVE FIRE IN YOUR FIREPLACE ! JUST REMEMBER, ALL IT TAKES IS AN "OUT OF ORDER / NON WORKING FURNACE" AND YOU CAN HAVE A FIRE, LEGALLY. ITS A SHAME MY FURNACE DOESN'T WORK AND I CAN'T AFFORD TO REPAIR / REPLACE IT. GUESS I WILL HAVE TO HAVE ANOTHER FIRE TONIGHT ! MERRY CHRISTMAS.


Posted by Sam, a resident of Oak Hill
on Dec 17, 2013 at 11:52 am

I don't know about you but I don't want to light my fireplace on the coldest nights. To prevent carbon monoxide buildup in the house, I have to leave the fireplace flue open all night even after the fire is out (or stay up all night feeding the fire). And since the flue is open, the central furnace has to stay off all night.

It's more comfortable to not light a fireplace, leave the fireplace flue closed, and lower the furnace to a "nighttime level" (about 62 F for us) so that the house doesn't get too cold overnight.


Posted by Right, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 17, 2013 at 12:14 pm

Sam, I know what you're referring to, but a fire in an efficient wood stove or fireplace will mitigate having to have the heater on for hours while the fire is burning. This should offset having the flue en and the furnace on while you're in bed. It should be a wash and you'll get to enjoy the cozy, radiant heat from the fire in the room where you'll be spending most of your time.


Posted by Sam, a resident of Oak Hill
on Dec 17, 2013 at 12:33 pm

"Right", I don't have one of those high-efficiency wood burning fireplaces, just a standard one. I don't doubt that the high efficiency ones put out a lot of heat when they're burning - almost too much heat according to my relatives who have one.

As for the spare-the-air days, though, the bottom line is that they're in place for the health of everyone in the tri-valley. It may require going to a country which is lax about air pollution controls for some here to appreciate the fact that measures such as spare-the-air are for the benefit of our own lungs. The London Fog of 1952 should be required reading for many ( Web Link ).


Posted by yahoos, a resident of Downtown
on Dec 17, 2013 at 3:14 pm

it seems that "spare the air" days are becoming the rule rather than the exception. why don't they just let us know when we can burn wood which is never.


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