News

Air district urges public to avoid burning wood

Bay Area skies must recover from holiday-weekend smoke pollution, district says

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District is asking the public to refrain from burning wood today (Tuesday, Dec. 27).

While district officials have not issued a Spare the Air alert, they are recommending that residents refrain from burning wood to allow Bay Area skies to recover from unhealthy levels of smoke pollution from the holiday weekend.

District spokeswoman Lisa Fasano said the smoke pollution was well over a healthy standard this weekend and the cold, still weather expected Tuesday is keeping the condition stagnant.

"It's taking longer than we'd hope for air to blow out," Fasano said.

Spare the Air alerts were in effect this weekend, however Fasano said patrols were out monitoring residents and violations occurred. According to Fasano, the district has logged about 285 potential violations since the Winter Spare the Air season began on Nov. 1.

During the winter months, wood smoke is the leading cause of air pollution in the Bay Area, according to district officials. Wood smoke contains harmful pollutants such as soot and carbon monoxide and toxins such as dioxin, which has been linked to increased cancer rates in adults.

More information about the ban can be found at www.sparetheair.org or by calling 877-4NO-BURN. Those wishing to receive automatic phone calls when a Winter Spare the Air alert is issued can register by calling (800) 430-1515.

— Bay City News Service

Comments

Like this comment
Posted by Yakoub
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Dec 27, 2011 at 12:51 pm

" to allow Bay Area skies to recover from unhealthy levels of smoke pollution from the holiday weekend"

If burning was illegal since Friday, are the spare the air alerts either having little effect or perhaps the particulate matter from wood burning is not as much as a primary source as believed? Does it apply to restaraunts with wood burning ovens? If not, WHY NOT? Who is funding the smoke spotters? With hybrids, clean diesel, etc, what will the Air board do to keep themselves relevant once it hypothetically cleans up all the air? What is the primary cause for the even worse air in Summer? It will be interesting to see if those on the air board also serve on energy company boards...lining their own pockets. No one has address the documented transcontinental pollution from China as a contributor.


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