The Bay Area Air Quality Management District has issued a Spare the Air Alert for Saturday and Sunday (Dec. 24 and 25), banning the burning of wood, manufactured fire logs or any other solid fuel, both indoors and outdoors.
Sunday's alert, the tenth in the region since Nov. 1, was issued because of anticipated cold and still weather conditions that will trap air pollution close to the ground.
The 24-hour ban outlaws the burning of solid fuel in fireplaces, woodstoves, outdoor fire pits or any other wood-burning devices. Homes without permanently installed heating are exempt from the ban.
Wood smoke is the leading cause of air pollution in the Bay Area during winter months, according to air quality district officials.
"We want everyone to be able to enjoy this holiday season at home with loved ones rather than spending it in the emergency room with a relative having difficulty breathing," Jack Broadbent, executive officer of the air district, said in a statement.
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.