News

Spare the Air restrictions continue Thursday

A Bay Area wood-burning ban that continued into New Year's Day will remain in effect on Thursday, officials from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District said today.

Thursday will be the region's third consecutive "Winter Spare the Air" day this week, prompted by ongoing cold, dry-weather conditions that trap harmful air pollutants close to the ground, according to the air district.

"Wood smoke continues to be a serious health concern in the Bay Area as this stagnant weather pattern continues," said Jack Broadbent, the air district's executive officer.

"Once again we are asking for the public's continued cooperation to reduce harmful wood smoke pollution to protect the health of all Bay Area residents," he said.

Indoor and outdoor wood burning of all kinds is prohibited during Winter Spare the Air days, including in fireplaces and wood-burning stoves. Only homes where wood burning is the only heat source are exempt from the ban.

Bay Area residents can find out the daily burn status at sparetheair.org, by calling (877) 4-NO-BURN or by signing up for Spare the Air iPhone or Android apps.

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by no rain no fire
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jan 1, 2014 at 5:27 pm

Air pollution is really awful this week. From the Dumbarton Bridge, we can see how brown it is all over Silicon Valley. Please don't start a fire until the next rain. Thank you.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Fred
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Jan 2, 2014 at 12:14 pm

Why not take some measurements to see if wood smoke actually significantly contributes? The air quality seems rather bad with wood smoke getting its unfair share of the blame.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by julie mellum
a resident of Encinal School
on Jan 2, 2014 at 12:39 pm

Everything we know about tobacco smoke is also true of wood smoke--they contains hundreds of the same toxic and cancer-causing chemicals including lead, mercury, benzene, formaldehyde, arsenic, carbon monoxide, and more. WHY say "Don't burn until the next rain" and so forth? Why not say "Don't burn wood period." Especially around schools and parks where children live and are trying to breathe. Asthma is the number one reason for school absenteeism. They need our help!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Steve
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jan 2, 2014 at 12:54 pm

Fred -
The Air Quality Board has already measured the components of average winter air in the Bay Area during hi pressure inversions like we're currently experiencing. The #1 pollutant at 35% is wood smoke, followed in a distant second by car exhaust at 15%.
The numbers obviously fluctuate over the course of the day but it's clear that wood smoke is the prime contributor.


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