News

11th consecutive 'Spare the Air' day alert issued for today

No wood burning indoors or outdoors for 24 hours

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District issued the 11th consecutive Winter Spare the Air Alert for today.

The alert is the 17th of the season and is tied for the record number of consecutive Spare the Air alerts, which was last set in Dec. 2013, air district officials said.

During a Spare the Air Alert, residents are prohibited from burning wood, manufactured fire logs or other solid fuels, both indoors and outdoors for 24 hours.

Air district officials said a high-pressure weather system is still in place across the region, resulting in diminished air quality. The

weather conditions are expected to persist through the early part of the week.

"Our air quality inspectors continue to patrol daily," said air district director Jack Broadbent. "Overall, we are seeing less wood burning

but with these weather conditions, a handful of fireplaces burning in an area can significantly impact neighborhoods and the entire region."

The air district issues the alerts when soot levels are expected to be unhealthy for residents.

Wood smoke makes up the largest portion, or 38 percent, of the soot in the air during the wintertime in the Bay Area, according to air district officials.

Residents face a $100 fine for first-time violations of the wood-burning ban.

Under the ban, it is illegal for residents and businesses to use wood-burning fireplaces, woodstoves, pellet stoves, outdoor fire pits or any other wood-burning devices.

Erin Baldassari, Bay City News

— Bay City News Service

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