The Bay Area Air Quality Management District has issued a "Spare the Air" alert for today, marking the fourth of the season and the first of the new year.
The advisory prohibits indoor and outdoor burning of wood, manufactured logs or any other solid fuel, meaning it is illegal for Bay Area residents and businesses to use their fireplaces, woodstoves and inserts, pellet stoves, outdoor fire pits or any other wood-burning devices.
"Wood smoke poses serious health risks and is particularly harmful to children, the elderly and those with respiratory problems,'' air district executive director Jack Broadbent said in a prepared statement. "Bay Area residents must refrain from burning wood while this winter Spare the Air alert is in effect, to protect their health and the health of their neighbors."
The alerts are issued when air quality is forecast to be unhealthy with weather conditions likely to trap smoke in the air.
The Winter Spare the Air season runs from Nov. 1 through Feb. 28 and Bay Area residents are advised to check the daily burn status at www.baaqmd.gov or www.sparetheair.org.