Friday: Spare the Air alert bans wood burning


A winter Spare the Air alert has been issued for Friday by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District because of poor air quality expected in

the region, air district officials said.

The alert was issued because cold weather and light wind conditions are allowing air pollution to build up to unhealthy levels,

according to the air district.

On winter Spare the Air days, Bay Area residents are not allowed to burn wood outdoors or indoors unless a wood stove or fireplace is a home's only source of heat, according to the air district.

Wood smoke consists of fine particles and carcinogenic materials that are a major source of air pollution in the region and can be

particularly harmful to children, the elderly and those with respiratory illnesses.

Friday's alert is the seventh issued in the two months since the winter Spare the Air season started on Nov. 1.

People cited for violating the wood burning ban will be required to take a wood smoke awareness class or pay a $100 fine, district officials said. Second-time violators face a $500 fine, and the fine escalates with subsequent violations.

To find out whether a Spare the Air alert has been issued, or to file a complaint about illegal burning, go to or, or call (877) 4-NO-BURN. You can also use Spare the Air apps available on iPhone and Android devices to find out about future Spare the Air alerts.

— Bay City News Service

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1 person likes this
Posted by parent
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jan 2, 2015 at 2:35 pm

fyi - Saturday is also a Spare the Air Day. Please don't light up until the next rain or until winds pick up considerably.

Like this comment
Posted by parent
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jan 3, 2015 at 12:44 pm

Sunday is another Spare the Air Day. No rain and little wind means pollution levels will continue to worsen at least through mid-week. Air was nasty smelling around town today.

Like this comment
Posted by MPbreathe
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Jan 4, 2015 at 8:22 am

Spare the Air Days also mean no gas-powered leaf blowers. It has been an ordinance in Menlo Park since the late 90s but is often ignored, even by the City of Menlo Park. I'm sure it's because it's not well known. Also, no gas-powered leaf blowers by commercial services on Saturday (by homeowner is allowed) and none at all on Sundays. Please! Spread the word!

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