Air quality alert today rules out burning logs in fireplace Thanksgiving Day

Season's 1st 'Spare the Air' ruling could lead to fines for violators

Bay Area residents are being asked not to throw a log on the fire this Thanksgiving due to poor air quality, and could face a substantial fine if they ignore a Bay Area Air Quality Management District warning.

The Air District has issued its first winter "Spare the Air" alert for today.

Air District CEO Jack Broadbent said in a statement that forecast cold weather and low winds will contribute to unhealthy air quality.

Wood smoke is a major source of wintertime air pollution in the Bay Area, according to the Air District.

"We're asking Bay Area residents to respect the health of their neighbors and fellow community members this Thanksgiving, and not to burn wood in their fireplaces and woodstoves," Broadbent said.

The Air District prohibition covers both indoor and outdoor wood burning, as well as the burning of manufactured fire logs and other solid fuel.

Spokeswoman Ana Sandoval said the Air District has about 70 inspectors that patrol the nine Bay Area counties overseen by the Air District.

The inspectors won't go into anyone's home, Sandoval said, but they will look for smoke coming from chimneys or backyards and will first

send a letter of warning to residents that violate the ban. A second violation can bring a $400 fine, she said.

The Air District issued 254 warning letters to Bay Area residents last year, Sandoval said. The majority of the warnings came in Contra Costa and Marin counties.

Of those, only one ticket was issued, to a resident in Santa Rosa, according to Sandoval.

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Posted by Julia
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 26, 2009 at 9:17 am

Maybe in Pleasanton the air quality is bad...but not here in Alamo. Have you been out side. This is just a bunch of BS. They...meaning those officials that let their authority go to there head...what a bunch of brain dead folks. Oh! and here's the other issue...I'm sure they have close friends running around as INSPECTOR'S...and I sure these sharp eyed people are getting double time pay on THANKSGIVING to look for smoke. What a fraud and we the people believe all this crap.

Oh well, HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL..and don't you dare light up.

Thanks, Julia...from a beautiful clear day in Alamo, CA

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Posted by !
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 26, 2009 at 9:56 am

Right on, Julia!

I envision all these democrat chimney smoke police driving around giving citations for 'criminals' like me. Enviro-statists...ALL of them...not to mention supreme hypocrits. They are drunk with power. We'll see who'll win in the voting booths in 2010.

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Posted by little m
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 26, 2009 at 10:28 am

I've decided to sit around the oven with the oven door open ... put the oven @ 250 ... throw in some chestnuts ... crank up the Santa Clause music and voila ... old time Holiday fun without the intrusive spies!!! thank you in advance for your encouraging remarks.

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Posted by Paulette
a resident of Val Vista
on Nov 26, 2009 at 1:34 pm

Those of you who miss smokey air should come to my neighborhood; it smells like an ashtray. I don't understand why people have no regard for keeping the air we breathe as clean as possible. You wouldn't want to drink sewer water; so, why would you want to breathe air that is filthy? I don't get it. I love a campfire as much as the anyone; but, we live in an area that's loaded with air particulants. Every winter, the newspapers are loaded with obits because the elderly and those with lung or heart issues can't handle the low oxygen levels in the air we breathe. Some of them are forced to carry around portable oxygen. Doesn't that ring a bell in anyone's head? Sure! it's nice to have a fire. But, it's also nice to feel healthy and to be able to drink in a large breathe of clean air. It'll never be completely clean. I live next to the freeway AND the sewage plant. I know my air must be filthy over here. And, there's nothing I can do about it. You can buy a water filter if you don't like the water you drink; but, you can't filter the air you breathe. We're stuck breathing the air that exists in our areas. I would love to live next to the ccean, where the air is so fresh and clean; but, I don't. So, like many others, every winter, I open my windows in the daytime, hoping to get some halfway decent air into my house; and, at night, I close everything up tighter than a drum, so my house doesnt' smell like an ashtray. I know people really have a deep attachment to their fires. I get that. But, I, personally, don't make fires unless I go camping somewhere. I don't want to muck up the air for the elderly with heart disease, lung problems, asthmatics, cystic fibrosis, or those who just can't handle the extra toxins that are in the smoke. Not everyone burns clean logs. If they did, it wouldn't be so bad. People toss in plastic and all kinds of garbage into their fires. So, we're breathing all kinds of weird things that lungs and tissues were never meant to absorb. And, when it's in tiny microsoopic form, like smoke, it's even more insideous. You can't protect yourself from it. It's like a thief in the night, stealing your health.

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Posted by Smokey the...
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 26, 2009 at 1:38 pm

Light em' if ya got em folks! A slight breeze here, crystal clear sky, what a bunch of hogwash!

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Posted by PToWN94566
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 26, 2009 at 2:15 pm

PToWN94566 is a registered user.

I pretty much agree with Paulette. Over in the neighborhood near Harvest Park it's always smokey, most likely from the new outdoor fireplace that was installed in a neighbors backyard. The funny thing is, it doesn't smell like a normal campfire- it smells like those chemical soaked, fake logs from the grocery store. The smell is far worse than real wood and the stench lingers for hours and hours. I don't know why, but the neighbors would burn it during the summer in their Target chimney thing and the smell would last even longer compared to the cooler nights we've been having.

Smokey- I wouldn't light up the fireplace so quickly. A friend of mine who lives near Vintage Hills has had the police called on her for having a fire on no burn nights. Usually it's a warning the first time but from there on out they will start fining you at the price of a pretty penny. Maybe some of you think it's the democrats fault (which I find funny)but one one think that keeping the peace is a bit easier than complaining and groaning.

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Posted by David
a resident of Walnut Grove Elementary School
on Nov 26, 2009 at 2:33 pm

PTown - I agree. We live near Harvest Park (the park, not the school) and it is ALWAYS smoky here. Astonishing. And as a result, my kids with asthma cough and cough whenever they go outside.

It's amazing and completely selfish that people continue this practice.

And it's 69 degrees outside today people - it's not snowing! Do you really need to light your fireplace?!?

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Posted by Sam
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 26, 2009 at 2:47 pm

I'm sure exclamation point wants to put lead back in gasoline and take catalytic converters off of cars too.

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Posted by little m
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 26, 2009 at 11:27 pm

Paulette ... you know I woke up the other night and was coughing at my neighbor's smoke ... I must apologize for my slight double vision. Yes, I want the old times, the family around a fire (I mean isn't that the image of the human race sitting around a campfire trading stories and culture???) ... but we don't live in ancient times, we live in congested modern times where our behavior must adapt to the changing and intrusive environmental elements. I don't think it's a political issue, but more of a lifestyle accommodation that allows a better future. Okay ... there ... my world view has been influenced by the Square!!!

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Posted by Spirited32
a resident of Del Prado
on Nov 27, 2009 at 8:41 am

This is rediculous!

I have a right to burn logs in my fireplace whenever I want and will continue to exercise this right...Liberal San Francisco has more laws than any other city and continue to take away individual rights! What's a real joke is this is called progressive, sounds regressive and smacks of "Big Brother." This crazy let's not offend anyone society and environment "uber alles" is a product of people that allow the government to think for them...

For those of you who may be coughing over your neighbor's smoke, I suggest you stay inside and turn on your humidifier or move to the countryside...

I am grateful today that I have a fireplace the wood to burn in it!

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Posted by Another Gatetree Resident
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Nov 27, 2009 at 12:54 pm

With all the crabbing going on about those burning fires when they shouldn't and others talking about over-population and asthma, perhaps what we all should be most thankful for is H1N1 and AIDS. Those two outta help out this holiday season.

"Be done with it and decrease the surplus population."

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Posted by Jesse
a resident of Livermore
on Nov 27, 2009 at 3:11 pm

You folks are kidding right? I mean there is so much traffic in Pleasanton it is beyond belief and you are complaining about a few fires! Use your heads, the issue is the traffic that your mayor was going to resolve not a few!

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Posted by Arroyo
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 28, 2009 at 10:34 am

When the City of Pleasanton stops using their exhaust belching gas powered lawnmowers, weedeaters, and other smog creating engines on "Spare The Air" days, then I will CONSIDER refraining from building a wood fire in my fireplace.

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Posted by Julia
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 28, 2009 at 10:52 am

Hi Folks...I'm back, as Arnold would say.

Paulette, Paulette...I believe the person that signed in just below my first comment as a resident from another PN was talking about you...A Enviro-Statists. Paulette, you and the others that believe this BS are the problem.

All this is being done by "Big Brother" to keep the masses under control. Unfortunately they have followers like you and yours.

Leaders would never bow to these control tactics. Paulette, you belong to a group of people that have a very hard time making decisions for yourselves. You and all the others like you would rather say, Oh yes sir...Oh yes mam...just point me in the direction you want me to go and I will go. "The Manchurian Candidate" Paulette have you seen it? Think about it.

Hey Little m, I like your idea especially the them chestnuts.

Oh well, enough is enough...enjoy the the weekend. By the way, Mother Nature is helping with all that smoke in your neighborhood.

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Posted by Dick
a resident of Valley Trails
on Nov 28, 2009 at 1:24 pm

KILLCARB.ORG Go to this link and see what these pinheads from CARB are making us conform to which isn't needed. The burning of wood in your fireplace is just the tip of the iceberg from this insane group from CARB. Read the complete story and then write your congress person and senator and tell them you don't want them to support these nuts from CARB. California had to layoff hundreds of teachers because Sacramento gave CARB billions of dollars to spend on changing the emmisions of diesel engines which are the cleanest fuel burning engines. Tell your representitives you won't vote for them and you will tell 10 friends not to vote for them if they support CARB. CARB is a large part of our problem in Calif.Stop being sheep and start speaking out for yourself.

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Posted by Tom
a resident of Stoneridge Park
on Nov 29, 2009 at 12:52 pm

Those of you who feel that some God given "right" has been taken away form you when the air quality becomes so toxic that, for the sake of the greater public's health, we are told to refrain from burning wood in our fireplaces, might take a look at the parts of China where the burning of wood and other materials are used to heat homes in the winter. Good luck breathing. Did you smoke in your cars while your children were with you as well? Did you or do you smoke in your house regardless of the affects on you loved ones. Light your fires! The universe revolves around you, doesn't it? Who cares about your neighbors! It's all about your rights to light your fires -- right?

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Posted by Mr. Cheney
a resident of Downtown
on Nov 30, 2009 at 12:14 pm

I am not feeling great about having someone tell me I can or can not make a fire in my fireplace. Working with CARB time to time I can say that CARB is one of the worst agencies to have to deal with in so many ways. I do have a solution for some of you. If you can change your fire place to a natural gas burning unit you will save money on the wood compared to the cost of the gas and you will not have to worry about the Spare The Air Police knocking on your door. I own and run Valley Plumbing and we have been installing gas lines for fireplaces and inserts for over 25yrs. Clean burning, they make alot of sence and can look great. Call us for a free estimate to see if it makes sence for you to make this change.

Mike Cheney
Valley Plumbing Home Center, Inc.

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Posted by SteveP
a resident of Parkside
on Nov 30, 2009 at 1:09 pm

SteveP is a registered user.

Paulette and the other govt control advocates: Back off. Make the 'spare the air' nights voluntary and stop paying Dem cronies from infringing on our rights (and of course, it's Dems in cahrge of this program--it's the liberal Bay Area; no freedom minded person would support this debacle).
If all of oyur other wimpy-lunged self righteous neighbors join in with your volunteer effort, good for you. Otherwise, stay away from my house and don't get downwind if you possess unhealthy lungs.

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Posted by Jason
a resident of Bordeaux Estates
on Nov 30, 2009 at 8:02 pm

I enjoyed a dinner of smoked turkey - cooked in my smoker for over 6 hours. You shoulda seen the smoke coming out. It looked like we elected 25 popes on the same day.

Stop Globull

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