News

Wood burning banned on Christmas Day

It's official: Bay Area residents will not be allowed to light fires in their fireplaces on Christmas Day.

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District has announced that Wednesday will be a "Winter Spare the Air" day, meaning it is illegal to burn wood, manufactured fire logs or any other solid fuel indoors or outdoors.

There has been no recent rain, winds are light and the mid-week forecast calls for dry, mild weather, which means pollutants that have built up close to the ground will remain stagnant and the air will be unhealthy to breathe, district officials said.

Children, the elderly and those with respiratory conditions are particularly vulnerable to health problems on such days, and Spare the Air days are meant to help them breathe easier by keeping the air as clean as possible.

First-time violations of the ban will be met with a fine of $100, with the option of taking a wood-smoke awareness class instead of paying the penalty. Subsequent violations mean a fine of $500 or more.

Residents can check the daily burn status by visiting the air district's website at sparetheair.org or calling (877) 4-NO-BURN.

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by no rain no fire
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Dec 24, 2013 at 4:03 pm

The pollution is so bad, we can smell and see the pollution in the air. Please don't add to already unhealthy pollution that is burning our kids eyes and lungs. Thank you.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on Dec 25, 2013 at 10:01 am

From website: The Bay Area Air Quality Management District
Air Quality in the Bay Area
In the Bay Area, as in the entire state of California, a certain amount of air pollution comes from stationary industrial sources, such as refineries and power plants. But a greater percentage of harmful air emissions come from cars and trucks, construction equipment, and other mobile sources. California has more cars per household (1.8) than any other state, along with a thriving business economy and a continually expanding population. All of these factors contribute to the state and regional air quality challenges.

No mention of wood burning. Also they say after the anonymous complaint is filed they mail a letter, no fine. They are set up for the anonymous complaints to come in English, Spanish and Chinese.They even have a course for offenders to take on wood burning, for those addicted to wood burning in your fireplace. This is the mechanism Americans reporting on their neighbors.

I haven't heard One Bay Area Plan address this issue when they are pushing 660,000 housing units on us.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Dec 25, 2013 at 12:58 pm

YOU haven't heard it addresses because, most if not all cities in the bay area only allow compliant wood burning fireplaces to be installed. that means either manufactured fireplaces with catalytic converters or masonry fireplaces that are certified Rumford fireplaces. Both have very low emissions.


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