Spare the Air alert a possibility for Christmas


The Bay Area Air Quality Management District is asking residents to check before burning any wood fires this week, as roasting chestnuts over an open fire may not be an option this Christmas.

The district issued a reminder on Tuesday asking residents to sign up for air quality alerts, or check to see if a Spare the Air alert has been issued, before using their fireplaces or wood stoves.

Weather forecasts for the end of this week, including Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, predict light winds and cool dry air that stays near the ground. According to the BAAQMD, these conditions trap smoke, causing unhealthy breathing conditions across the region.

The district has already issued two winter Spare the Air alerts, its first one falling on Thanksgiving Day. On these days, Bay Area residents are prohibited from burning wood or manufactured fire logs in fireplaces, wood stoves, fire pits or in any other capacity. The ban extends to both indoor and outdoor fires.

The wood-burning rule went into effect last winter, and about 15 to 20 alerts are expected to be issued this season. First-time violators will receive a warning, but repeat offenses will lead to increasingly bigger tickets, starting at $400.

According to the BAAQMD, there are about 1.4 million fireplaces and wood stoves in the Bay Area, and smoke is the region's largest source of wintertime air pollution.

The district posts the next day's air quality forecast by 1:30 p.m. daily. Sign up for alerts at or by phone at (800) 430-1515.


Like this comment
Posted by Bruno
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 23, 2009 at 12:40 pm

Really weak. I guess the only fire allowed will be the one on KOFY TV 20.

Like this comment
Posted by Reality Check
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Dec 23, 2009 at 3:35 pm

Wood fire burners are the new smokers...selfishly doing what makes them feel good, despite the ill health effects to others.

Like this comment
Posted by HJ
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 23, 2009 at 6:18 pm

Did you know that the oldest person (122yrs) in the world, that can be proven with documents, smoked all her life? Even the second runner up smoked all her life. Whats your doctors say about that?

Don't beleive me, Yahoo there names, or check out this website

Web Link

Jeanne Calment 122yrs

Marie-Louise Meilleur 116yrs

Like this comment
Posted by the299crew
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 23, 2009 at 10:38 pm

The BAAQMD is way over any authorized power they think they may have when they try to ban fireplace burning on Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, or another holiday. They need to be seriously reigned in and, in effect, shut down. Anyone who might have a health concern is inside and watching TV on those days anyway. Be an American and take responsibility for own yourself.

Like this comment
Posted by HJ's Rational Mind
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 24, 2009 at 7:22 am

HJ, did you know that millions of people die from smoking? Really, its documented; you can Yahoo "Ill effects of smoking" and see for yourself.
Millions of continuing deaths, I would say, make for better data points than your 1 or 2 anecdotal situations.
Tell me, really, do you think smoking prolongs life? REALLY? Or maybe genetics played a more significant role in a prolonged life in those scant few anecdotal situations. C'mon, I know its interesting like a 6 legged cow is interesting, but what you mentioned were oddities, not the norm. Be smarter than that.

Like this comment
Posted by USA
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 24, 2009 at 10:18 am

USA is a registered user.

George Burns said that if he had known that he would live to 100, he would have quit smoking.

Like this comment
Posted by USA
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 24, 2009 at 10:20 am

USA is a registered user.

There will be no presents tomorrow for residences in the South Bay as Santa will be forced to travel by BART.

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

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