Bay Area air quality officials have issued a Winter Spare the Air alert, which bans burning wood, manufactured firelogs, or any other solid fuel both indoors and outdoors.
Air quality is rated as unhealthy in the region today (Jan. 16) and is expected to get worse Monday due to cold weather and a lack of wind that will trap air pollutants close to the ground, according to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.
Particulate matter from wood smoke is the main source of winter air pollution, and has been linked to illnesses such as asthma, bronchitis
and lung disease. People should check www.sparetheair.org before burning wood during the Winter Spare the Air season, which runs from Nov. 1 to Feb. 28.
People who are found to be burning wood during a Spare the Air Day could face fines. First-time offenders will receive a warning, but a second
violation is subject to a $400 fine, with steeper fines for further violations.
Residents and businesses that burn wood as their only source of heat are exempt from the alerts.