Unhealthy pollution levels are expected this week, and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District is asking residents to refrain from burning wood.
The district issued its first "Winter Spare the Air Alert" of the season for Wednesday (Dec. 7), which means no burning of wood, manufactured fire logs or other solid fuel is allowed indoors or outdoors. District officials said weather conditions are expected to trap smoke in the air close to the ground.
"Exposure to wood smoke, like cigarette smoke, has been linked to increased frequency and severity of respiratory illnesses such as asthma, bronchitis and lung disease," said Jean Roggenkamp, deputy air pollution control officer for the district.
The district's Winter Spare the Air season began Nov. 1 and will end on Feb. 29. Residents are advised to check www.sparetheair.org or call (877) 4-NO-BURN to check the daily burn status.
Those interested in signing up for alerts about Winter Spare the Air days can visit the website or call (800) 430-1515.