Town Square

Spare the Air Nights

Original post made by Walker, Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Dec 18, 2006

On these cold winter nights, it is very tempting to light a wood fire for the ambience as well as the warmth. However, for any of you who venture out on the streets these evenings, you would be surprised how poor our air quality is as a result. The smog from these fires lingers in the air and is breathed in by everyone, from someone exercising to someone walking back and forth to their car. Apart from the dangers in this, it is also downright unpleasant. If you look at the film of dirt on "clean" cars each morning from the overnight condensation, you will see just how much is in the air.

Please do not pollute our air. Smoke from domestic chimneys was banned in Britain decades ago, only smokeless fuels are allowed, and London Fog is no more. Lets make it the same here.


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Posted by Susan
a resident of Gunn High School
on Dec 19, 2006 at 9:13 am

Yes, Please. Let's keep Palo Alto green. There is enough pollution coming from all the plastic, gasoline, cars, and energy that we consume. During the winter most of the green leaves have died which means during the winter fewer trees can take in all the CO2 we already put up in the air.

America is no longer a Goldilocks perfect movie set where we can burn wood for niceness' sake because it's the American thing to do and because it's nice.

Let's take care of our neighborhood and our planet. Please spare the air and use a more enviornmentally friendly method to heat your home.

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Posted by Laura
a resident of Downtown North
on Dec 19, 2006 at 11:05 am

Yes, please do not burn wood anymore. Burning wood in the fireplace does not really keep the whole house warm. The particles from the burning is more than pure pollution. My husband has asthma, and cold nights are the worst for him, not because of the low temperature, but because of the ash particles. Not burning wood really really helps the environment and spare a lot of people from their respiratory conditions.

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Posted by pat
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 20, 2006 at 12:43 am

Thanks so much for posting this! I have asthma, and if I'm out for a walk and someone has wood burning in a fireplace, it about kills me. I like to sleep with a window open, but if someone has a fire, I have to do without fresh air.

If you're sitting inside in front of a fireplace, it's got a nice cozy feeling. But if you're outside, the smoke is deadly.

From and old "Ask Marilyn" column: ". . . when you burn 100 pounds of 'dry' logs (which aren’t actually dry), you send 85 pounds of smoke – containing particulate matter and gases – and water vapor up the chimney. . . The simple act of buring wood in a fireplace is a good illustration of just how easy it is to pollute the air."

If it's illegal to burn leaves and rubbish, how come it's not illegal to have a wood fire?

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Posted by joyce
a resident of Crescent Park
on Dec 21, 2006 at 6:33 am

I used to live near Forest and Boyce, and someone constantly had a wood fire going on cold nights. It ruined the air for at least a block around.

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Posted by Theodore Nuesbomb
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 26, 2008 at 9:50 am

Get a life people. If you want NAZI germany, keep it up.
Less government, not more.
Let common sense prevail.

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Posted by Greg K
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 26, 2008 at 10:41 am

Common sense says that lung cancer and other lung diseases are very bad for you and your neighbors.