News

22nd 'spare the air' alert issued for Sunday

For the seventh time this week and the 22nd time since Nov. 1, Bay Area residents will be banned from burning wood on Sunday.

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District issued the "Winter Spare the Air" alert prohibiting residents from burning wood, logs or other solid fuels both indoors and outdoors. Homes where wood burning is the only heat source are exempt from the ban.

The ongoing ban is prompted by a prolonged dry weather pattern that is "allowing air pollution to reach unhealthy levels" throughout the Bay Area, air district executive officer Jack Broadbent said. "Wood burning in these conditions elevates the levels of particulate pollution in our neighborhoods and communities, making it unhealthy for everyone to breathe," he said.

Wood smoke is the Bay Area's main source of winter air pollution and can be especially harmful to children, the elderly and those with respiratory conditions.

First-time violators must pay a $100 fine or take a wood smoke awareness class. Additional violations are subject to a fine of $500 or more.

Bay Area residents may check the daily burn status by calling (877) 4-NO-BURN or by visiting the district's website at www.sparetheair.org.

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