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Spare the Air day extended into Saturday

 

Air quality officials are extending today's Spare the Air alert to Saturday (Jan. 3), which means both indoor and outdoor wood burning is banned.

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.

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District said air Saturday is expected to be unhealthy for sensitive groups. Those groups include people with respiratory illnesses such as asthma, bronchitis and lung disease, and the elderly and active children and adults.

The pollution might exacerbate respiratory illnesses, said BAAQMD spokesman Walter Wallace.

The ban is in effect Saturday for San Mateo, Santa Clara, Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, southern Sonoma and southwestern Solano counties, according to the BAAQMD.

The district says that particulates or soot pollution from wood smoke is the main source of pollution during wintertime.

BAAQMD officials are asking residents to take steps to reduce pollution during alert days by walking, cycling or taking public transit.

"It's your air as well and together we want to protect it," Wallace said.

— Bay City News Service

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