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Air district issues seventh consecutive Spare the Air alert

Weather system causing alerts forecast to remain in place throughout week

Officials at the Bay Area Air Quality Management District have announced that Thursday will be the seventh straight Winter Spare the Air day.

According to air district spokesman Tim Flannigan, the Bay Area may be on track to meet last year's record 11 Spare the Air days in a row.

On Tuesday, air pollution exceeded federal health standards, district officials said.

A high-pressure system is currently preventing wind and rain from mitigating any air pollution lingering in the area. District officials said this weather system is forecast to remain in place throughout the week.

Burning wood or other solid fuels is prohibited on Winter Spare the Air Days. Homes that rely solely on woodstoves or fireplaces for heat and do not have permanently installed gas or electric heaters can apply for an exemption.

First-time violators are subject to a $100 fine, or they can attend a wood smoke awareness class online or by mail. Fines for subsequent offenses start at $500.

Information on the air district's daily burn status can be found online at www.baaqmd.gov or www.sparetheair.org, by phone toll-free at 877-4-NO-BURN, via Spare the Air iPhone or Android apps or on Twitter.

— Bay City News Service

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