Air district: 'No wood fires for Christmas'

'Spare the Air Alert' bans indoor or outdoor burning of wood, manufactured logs

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.

— Bay City News Service

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Like this comment
Posted by smokey
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Dec 24, 2011 at 1:19 pm

Anyone else think the air pollution is much worse today than earlier this week? Is everyone burning their trash this week or something?

Like this comment
Posted by No
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Dec 24, 2011 at 3:59 pm

Frankly, my dear, I don't give a is Christmas, and we simply will celebrate with family and friends as we wish, forbidden fireplace and all. This is ridiculous.

Like this comment
Posted by smokey
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Dec 24, 2011 at 4:34 pm

This would not have happened if people reduced their pollution during the week. Blame yourself and your neighbors.

Like this comment
Posted by BS alert
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Dec 25, 2011 at 12:56 pm

Yes it is ridiculous. It shows a mean-spirited scrooge agenda designed to curtail fireplace usage rather than address air quality per se. So few people have fireplaces anymore, anyway, given the code changes, why can't they just let it go, or encourage duraflame logs etc. Merry Christmas!

Like this comment
Posted by Oh just burn anyway
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 25, 2011 at 3:44 pm

First time you are caught is just a warning, no fine.

Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 25, 2011 at 6:36 pm

Too bad people are ignoring this air quality warning. I went for a walk around the North Palo Alto neighborhood near Gamble Garden at 5:00 today and finally had to leave, coughing, because of all the wood smoke. It really does affect people and their lungs adversely. Please take this seriously.

Like this comment
Posted by smokey
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Dec 25, 2011 at 6:48 pm

I wish the media would report on anti-pollution enforcement efforts every time there is a Spare The Air day.

How to Report a Wood Burning and Wood Smoke Complaint:
Web Link

Like this comment
Posted by Oh just burn anywy
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 25, 2011 at 7:33 pm

I was out walking at 5:00. There was no smoke. You're just imaging things. The problem is where our smoke ends up, around Oakland. People should be able to have a fire on Christmas. If you are really concerned ride your bike for transportation.

Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Meadow Park
on Dec 26, 2011 at 7:42 am

Can you imagine if we got rid of all fossil fuels and had to revert to the old fashioned way of wood fires for all heating and cooking? Anyone ever visited or lived somewhere that this is still true? And, of course, horses would be the means of transportation, unless we were still allowed bikes..but dang it, those bikes take fuels to build also..

I guess those who object to wood fires would have to become hermits and eat everything raw.

At least we would stop using electricity, oil and natural gas if only we could go back a couple hundred years...


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