Monday: Spare-the-air alert issued

First no-burning day of season declared by Bay Area Air Quality Management District

The first Spare the Air alert of the winter season has been issued for Monday by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.

A cold weather pattern and lack of wind has allowed air pollution to rise to a level that is considered unhealthy, according to the BAAQMD.

The alert bans the burning of wood, manufactured fire logs or other solid fuel, both inside and outdoors, for 24 hours.

Homes without permanently installed heating systems are exempt.

Wood smoke, the largest source of winter air pollution in the Bay Area, contains particulates and carbon monoxide and can especially harm children, the elderly or people with respiratory conditions.

Anyone who violates the burning ban will be given the option of taking a wood smoke awareness class or paying a $100 fine, according to the BAAQMD.

Second-time violators will be fined $500.

People concerned about wood smoke pollution can call (877) 4NO-BURN or visit to file a complaint or get more information.

— Bay City News Service


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Posted by about time
a resident of another community
on Nov 25, 2013 at 10:21 am

About time they called an alert. The air has smelled awful ever since the rain ended. We had to keep our kids indoors this weekend because the air outside was so caustic.

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Posted by ARe you kidding me
a resident of Monta Loma
on Nov 25, 2013 at 2:17 pm

There is absolutely no reason to have a spare the air day today. It's just a way for the air board to flex their muscle.

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Posted by ARe you kidding me
a resident of Monta Loma
on Nov 25, 2013 at 2:25 pm

The bay area air management is made up of over 300 people. Just to tell us not to burn wood. No wonder our Gov. is broke. This should be the first gov. agency to see the hatchet.

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Posted by Bob
a resident of Slater
on Nov 25, 2013 at 5:22 pm

Today's alert is not surprising, and if the BAAQMD is true to form expect this to continue through Thanksgiving. This process will repeat for Christmas and New Years as well. The three days when we traditionally have a fire are always target days for them. You have never seen any of these people on your ballot so they are free to do as they please and insulated from our disapproving votes.

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Posted by about time
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 25, 2013 at 5:49 pm

Maybe the air pollution is so bad this week because everyone is home burning wood all day? We were gagging just walking on the sidewalk in front of our house this morning. I could not see any smoke pouring out of any neighbor's smoke stack, so I'm guessing the pollution had not dissipated from last night's burns.

Here's a tip: if you must light up, do it on a rainy day. On clear low-wind days, the smoke just accumulates near the ground and chokes your kids and your neighbors' kids.

Right now, the weather forecast says the pollution is going to get worse before it gets better.

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Posted by Roman
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 25, 2013 at 6:43 pm

What an enormous farce.
No repremand for leaf blowers, lawn mowers, resturants, trucks and smoking cars? They contibute much more to the pollution than wood fires.
But people who want to heat their house and enjoy peaceful, beautiful and comforting fires in their fireplaces for a couple of hours in an evening can be turned by disgruntled neighbors and fined heavily without recourse.
I thought the gestapo ended after WWII.
What can be done to disband this organization that seems to be able to do whatever it wants and arbitrarily declare no burning days?
I walked at Shoreline today and could see from Oakland to Morgan Hill!!
Fireplace users have rights also.

Like this comment
Posted by Greg David
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 25, 2013 at 8:13 pm

Greg David is a registered user.

If you really want to have a fire, spark it up. If they come knocking on your door, your furnace is broken and tell them to take a hike. Burning is allowed if it is your primary heat source...

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Posted by Old Coot
a resident of Rex Manor
on Nov 26, 2013 at 8:02 am

I've lived in places over the years (25+) where wood was my only heat, in the house, tent, yurt or whatever. Almost all of the pollution I see, and smell, in the Bay Area is from people burning garbage trees that are still green. They'll spend hours trying to get a soaking wet poplar log that was cut last week to catch. It won't make any heat and it stinks. For the uninitiated, the wood should have dried for at least a year, to start.
A fireplace is one of, if not the, poorest ways to heat anything. It has to pull in more cold air than the hot air it blows up the chimney, or you get a houseful of smoke. Even a firepit in a teepee is better.

Like this comment
Posted by @old coot
a resident of Monta Loma
on Nov 26, 2013 at 10:54 am

Modern day wood stove type fireplaces are very efficient and keep the warmth radiating all over.

The Bay Air Gestapo is at it again. They need to be stopped.

Like this comment
Posted by Jim Neal
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 27, 2013 at 12:04 pm

Jim Neal is a registered user.

Here's a thought: "What happens to all the smoke the thousands of forest fires caused by lightning strikes every year"? These fires burn more wood in a day than everyone in California in one year!

Say hello to the Nanny State!

Jim Neal
Old Mountain View

Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Rengstorff Park

on Jun 6, 2017 at 7:39 am

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?

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

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