District declares ninth straight Spare the Air alert

Cold weather pattern blamed for trapping pollution near the ground

Another "Spare the Air" alert has been issued for the Bay Area on Monday, Dec. 16, banning fires and wood burning for the ninth straight day.

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District issued the alert --its 13th since the district's Winter Spare the Air season began Nov. 1 -- because of an ongoing cold weather pattern that is trapping pollution close to the ground.

"We appreciate the cooperation of Bay Area residents in reducing their wood burning during this long spell of dry and stagnant weather," BAAQMD executive officer Jack Broadbent said in a statement.

On Winter Spare the Air days, wood burning is banned both indoors and outdoors, with exemptions for homes where wood burning is the sole heat source, according to the air district.

First-time violators of the ban can take a wood smoke awareness class or pay a $100 ticket. Subsequent violations will result in increasing fines.

The daily burn status in the Bay Area can be found online at or, by calling (877) 4-NO-BURN or by signing up for Spare the Air iPhone or Android apps.

— Bay City News Service


Posted by common sense, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 16, 2013 at 9:50 am

Come on folks, use common sense. No fires on sunny days. Light up on rainy days only. We were walking around Shoreline Park yesterday and we could see how brown the air is over Mountain View.

Posted by The wind is blowing, a resident of Monta Loma
on Dec 16, 2013 at 2:52 pm

The wind is blowing, that's what gets me, you people are lied to. Go outside and see for yourself. There has always been a haze around the bay area. The problem is not people burning wood at home.

If we believe all this nonsense about the pollution of house fires, then all people who have house fires would be dead by now. But they are not, so much for the pollution statistics and all their garbage propaganda.

Posted by Wheezing, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 16, 2013 at 3:26 pm

I drive over the Dumbarton Bridge everyday to go to work in the East Bay. I usually get a good view of what the air looks like in the South Bay. Yes, there is often a haze, but it is usually grey in color because it's mostly water vapor. For the last few weeks, it's been very brown, thick and has the look of the L.A. Basin. I have bad allergies and congestion issues. My breathing was fine all summer and into the fall, but for the last two weeks, I've been sneezing, coughing and blowing my nose (bloody) constantly. "Spare the air" is not a hoax or a conspiracy. The air is filthy right now and anything that can be done to keep it from getting worse should be a no-brainer.

Posted by mike, a resident of Monta Loma
on Dec 16, 2013 at 11:38 pm

Brown scuzzy air all the way from Mountain View to San Mateo. Its all about asthma and other breathing related issues.

Posted by common sense, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 17, 2013 at 8:37 am

On normal Spare The Air days, I only smell the smoke when I go outside. After several Spare The Air days in a row, however, I can smell the smoke even inside the house. How do I get rid of that? Do any of you have air filtration systems to keep the pollution from getting into your homes? I hate having the kids sleeping in the dirty air.

Posted by common sense, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 17, 2013 at 12:30 pm

How bad is Bay Area air quality on Spare The Air days? Right now, we are 3 times worse the BEIJING! And that isn't counting the Redwood City fire. Web Link

Posted by It's because of the SIMs fire, a resident of Monta Loma
on Dec 17, 2013 at 2:29 pm

This issue with the air has been because of the sims recyclers fire and not wood smoke.

I'd rather smell wood than the plastic toxic smell of the recyclers anyday.

Posted by Steve, a resident of Shoreline West
on Dec 17, 2013 at 5:13 pm

"No fires on sunny days. Light up on rainy days only. We were walking around Shoreline Park yesterday and we could see how brown the air is "

So you don't mind the dirty air as long as you can't see it in bright sunlight? It's still their on the cloudy days, just not as visible.

Posted by Concept, a resident of Sylvan Park
on Dec 18, 2013 at 12:06 pm

@Steve, he said "Rainy days" not cloudy days. You're questioning and arguing over something he didn't say.

Posted by Bartholomew, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 18, 2013 at 2:16 pm

Mountain View IS scuzzy though. Always has been. Spare the Air is not going to make the place any more attractive to people.

Forget Spare the Air and just let the homeless people have their fires to keep warm.

Posted by Brilliant Move, a resident of Castro City
on Dec 18, 2013 at 5:02 pm

"Mountain View IS scuzzy though. Always has been."
How long has it been since you made the choice to live here? (Remembering that nobody is EVER forced to live where they do not wish to live.)
You choose to move to a place you say is scuzzy?
Or if you were born here, how many years have you decided to stay in a place you think is scuzzy? Its your life man, you're making some really self destructive choices regarding your location.

So now, with this realization, are you a whiner or a man of action? Are you ready to dare to be happy where you live. I'll drive you to the bus stop anytime. A new HAPPY life awaits you if you make the right choice!
Time to get started, just like Old Ben (heheh)

Posted by Old Ben, a resident of Shoreline West
on Dec 19, 2013 at 9:57 am

I'm leaving in June. I've already spoken to my old landlord in Manhattan, and I've got a terrific studio in Upper Manhattan lined up for $1200 a month.

I don't know if I'd call Mountain View "scuzzy." That implies the possibility of a kind of louche, raffish charm. There's nothing at all charming about Mountain View. It's short-sighted and snobby. I'll be delighted to see it in my rear-view mirror.

Posted by Noni Ramirez, a resident of Castro City
on Dec 19, 2013 at 2:20 pm

Mountain View is not good like Los Altos, and definitely not great like Palo Alto. Maybe Sunnyvale-bad, but not quite as lame as Redwood city. Still, not a great place to live. Just meh.

People here have a strangely high opinion of themselves though.

Posted by Tango Box, a resident of Shoreline West
on Dec 19, 2013 at 2:23 pm

From Urban Dictionary:

"Mountain View: City in the heart of the bay area and silicon valley. The only place to hang out in Mountain View is In N Out because the city is full of stoners. Its schools have silly names, and the place in generally terminally awesome."

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