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Hold That Log: 'Spare the Air' in Effect Wednesday

“Cold, calm weather conditions, like those seen over the past few days, result in the unhealthy build-up of wood smoke in the air we breathe,” said Jack Broadbent, executive officer of the Air District.

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District is issuing the season’s eighth Winter Spare the Air Alert for Wednesday, December 11, which bans the burning of wood, manufactured fire logs or any other solid fuel both indoors and outdoors for 24 hours. 

A prolonged stretch of extremely cold, stagnant weather continues to linger in the Bay Area, causing the Air District to call a Winter Spare the Air Alert. Air pollution will be trapped close to the ground and is expected to build up again to unhealthy levels on Wednesday.

“Cold, calm weather conditions, like those seen over the past few days, result in the unhealthy build-up of wood smoke in the air we breathe,” said Jack Broadbent, executive officer of the Air District.  

“By not burning wood, we all help limit the particulate pollution that poses a serious health problem to many people in our community.” 

It is illegal for Bay Area residents and businesses to use their fireplaces, woodstoves, pellet stoves, outdoor fire pits or any other wood-burning devices during a Winter Spare the Air Alert. Homes without permanently installed heating, where woodstoves or fireplaces are the only source of heat, are exempt.

In the winter, wood smoke from the 1.4 million fireplaces and wood stoves in the Bay Area is the single largest source of air pollution, contributing about one-third of the harmful fine particulate pollution in the air. 

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District (www.baaqmd.gov) is the regional agency responsible for protecting air quality in the nine-county Bay Area.


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