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Yet Again – Wood-burning Ban Remains in Place Saturday

Only five days in the past month have not had wood-burning bans imposed by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. Another Spare the Air day has been declared for Saturday, making 2014 completely no-fires so far.

Having a fire is taboo when the Bay Area Air Quality Management District declares a Spare the Air day. Photo credit: priyanphoenix, Morguefile.com
Having a fire is taboo when the Bay Area Air Quality Management District declares a Spare the Air day. Photo credit: priyanphoenix, Morguefile.com
By David Mills

Don't touch that wood pile.

Winter Spare the Air alert has been issued for Saturday.

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District made the announcement at midday today, Friday, saying stagnant, dry air in the region is trapping pollutants close the ground.

It's the 27th alert so far this winter season. Only 10 alerts were issued during the entire winter season last year.

It's the fifth straight day an alert has been issued. A wood burning ban has been declared in 12 of the past 13 days.

“Although we’re expecting some improvements in air quality on Saturday, we still anticipate that air pollution will reach unhealthy concentrations in parts of the Bay Area,” said Jack Broadbent, executive officer of the air district. “We appreciate the continued cooperation of Bay Area residents in not using their fireplaces and wood stoves, since the wood smoke they create can cause health impacts not only in their neighborhood but also as it flows to other areas in the region.”

The Saturday alert prohibits Bay Area residents from burning wood, manufactured fire logs or any other solid fuel both indoors and outdoors for 24 hours. Those with no other source of heat are exempt.

First-time violators of the ban are given the option of taking a wood smoke awareness class or paying a $100 fine. Second violations result in a $500 fine and the penalties rise with each violation after that.

The air quality district has 60 inspectors that follow up on complaints and issue citations.

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