Air district issues seventh consecutive Spare the Air alert


Officials at the Bay Area Air Quality Management District have announced that Thursday will be the seventh straight Winter Spare the Air day.

According to air district spokesman Tim Flannigan, the Bay Area may be on track to meet last year's record 11 Spare the Air days in a row.

On Tuesday, air pollution exceeded federal health standards, district officials said.

A high-pressure system is currently preventing wind and rain from mitigating any air pollution lingering in the area. District officials said this weather system is forecast to remain in place throughout the week.

Burning wood or other solid fuels is prohibited on Winter Spare the Air Days. Homes that rely solely on woodstoves or fireplaces for heat and do not have permanently installed gas or electric heaters can apply for an exemption.

First-time violators are subject to a $100 fine, or they can attend a wood smoke awareness class online or by mail. Fines for subsequent offenses start at $500.

Information on the air district's daily burn status can be found online at or, by phone toll-free at 877-4-NO-BURN, via Spare the Air iPhone or Android apps or on Twitter.

— Bay City News Service

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5 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 7, 2015 at 2:43 pm

Glad to see Palo Alto Online reporting on this. Air pollution around town has been really awful this week.

Like this comment
Posted by Show-Us-The-Data
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 7, 2015 at 2:57 pm

> Air pollution around town has been really awful this week.

Says who? The skies have been clear, there hasn't been much in the way of cloud cover [portion removed.]

Show us the data, please!

6 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 7, 2015 at 3:05 pm

Are you blind? When I look out my window towards where the foothills are supposed to be, all I see is a thick brown haze. There are no "clear skies" in any direction.

Like this comment
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jan 8, 2015 at 7:54 am

mauricio is a registered user.

So clear sky is your indicator that there is no pollution? If the city is issuing a Spar the Air alert, why are gas leaf blowers allowed to operate all over town with impunity? I know the police department has been refusing to implement the ban, but where are the politicians?

Like this comment
Posted by betterair
a resident of Community Center
on Jan 8, 2015 at 8:32 am

The rise in low flying planes over Palo Alto are also contributing to air pollution in our city.

Like this comment
Posted by Arthur Keller
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jan 8, 2015 at 4:17 pm

It's not the City of Palo Alto that issues Spare the Air day alerts. Rather is is the Bay Area Air Quality Management District that does it regionally. In the winter, the Spare the Air days restrict use of wood burning (including artificial logs!). In the summer, the Spare the Air days encourage the use of mass transit to reduce the pollution from driving.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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