News

Wood-burning banned for 11th straight day

Spare the Air alert issued due to unhealthy air pollution levels

Bay Area residents will be banned from burning wood for the 11th straight day on Wednesday.

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District today issued another Winter Spare the Air alert for Wednesday, the 15th since its winter season began on Nov. 1.

The air district issues alerts and bans wood burning both indoors and outdoors on days when it deems air pollution has risen to unhealthy levels in the region.

An ongoing cold weather pattern in the Bay Area has prompted the unprecedented string of consecutive Winter Spare the Air alerts, according to the district, which said this morning's fire at a recycling facility in Redwood City likely contributed to the elevated pollution levels.

District officials said the cold weather system is expected to weaken later this week, with increasing winds likely to help reduce pollution below unhealthy levels on Thursday.

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Only homes without permanently installed heating are exempt from the wood-burning ban.

First-time violators are given the option of taking a wood smoke awareness class in lieu of paying a $100 fine. Subsequent violations result in higher fines.

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

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— Bay City News Service

Andrea Gemmet
Andrea Gemmet was born and raised in the Midpeninsula and has been with the Mountain View Voice since 2010. She became editor of The Almanac in 2020, where she had previously worked as a reporter. Read more >>

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Wood-burning banned for 11th straight day

Spare the Air alert issued due to unhealthy air pollution levels

Uploaded: Tue, Dec 17, 2013, 1:24 pm

Bay Area residents will be banned from burning wood for the 11th straight day on Wednesday.

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District today issued another Winter Spare the Air alert for Wednesday, the 15th since its winter season began on Nov. 1.

The air district issues alerts and bans wood burning both indoors and outdoors on days when it deems air pollution has risen to unhealthy levels in the region.

An ongoing cold weather pattern in the Bay Area has prompted the unprecedented string of consecutive Winter Spare the Air alerts, according to the district, which said this morning's fire at a recycling facility in Redwood City likely contributed to the elevated pollution levels.

District officials said the cold weather system is expected to weaken later this week, with increasing winds likely to help reduce pollution below unhealthy levels on Thursday.

Only homes without permanently installed heating are exempt from the wood-burning ban.

First-time violators are given the option of taking a wood smoke awareness class in lieu of paying a $100 fine. Subsequent violations result in higher fines.

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

— Bay City News Service

Comments

Alex
The Crossings
on Dec 17, 2013 at 3:21 pm
Alex, The Crossings
on Dec 17, 2013 at 3:21 pm

Just wondering if PG&E co-sponsors those Spare the Air alerts?!


The Sims
St. Francis Acres
on Dec 17, 2013 at 3:29 pm
The Sims, St. Francis Acres
on Dec 17, 2013 at 3:29 pm

No, but Sims Metal Recycling does.


Rossta
Registered user
Waverly Park
on Dec 17, 2013 at 4:20 pm
Rossta, Waverly Park
Registered user
on Dec 17, 2013 at 4:20 pm

I hope Sims gets a Spare the Air violation fine for what they did to our air today. My lungs hurt. My kids were kept indoors at school with no PE or recess because of them.


Spotter
Castro City
on Dec 17, 2013 at 4:45 pm
Spotter, Castro City
on Dec 17, 2013 at 4:45 pm

Alex, only the local tin foil hatters think that.


Hmm
Monta Loma
on Dec 17, 2013 at 4:52 pm
Hmm , Monta Loma
on Dec 17, 2013 at 4:52 pm

Lets see, we have a fire on the coast down south and we have a chemical fire to the north.

It must be all the wood burning that people do to create all this bad air. That's the logic the Govt. trying to feed people.

Do we really need a 300+ member agency to tell us the air is not good?


MmHmm
Rengstorff Park
on Dec 17, 2013 at 5:17 pm
MmHmm, Rengstorff Park
on Dec 17, 2013 at 5:17 pm

Hmm, that might be the logic you're hearing, but I'm pretty sure the rest of us hear it as "The air really messed up now, so don't add to the mess by burning wood"
And yes, it would be nice if it didn't need to be said, but many, many people are complete and utter selfish <self edited>'s so thus we have the need to protect the masses from the morons...again.


parent
Old Mountain View
on Dec 17, 2013 at 6:16 pm
parent, Old Mountain View
on Dec 17, 2013 at 6:16 pm

Bay Area air quality is currently worse than Beijing: Web Link


Duke
Old Mountain View
on Dec 17, 2013 at 7:09 pm
Duke, Old Mountain View
on Dec 17, 2013 at 7:09 pm

300 Spare the Air people running around like Chicken Little yelling "The Sky is Falling, The Sky is falling" is a perfect example of the Peter Principal. I can find no reliable independent study that confirms what they say about wood smoke. But, Southeast Asia and the Philippines have outlawed 2-stroke (leaf blower type) engines, as has the US National Park Service on many American lakes and in parks. Every leaf blower that buzz's 10 hours every day unabated just pumps unburned fuel, dirt and animal excretment pollution into the air. Diesel engines have been proven to be a major source of pollution and they idle at stops all day long, every day.
Nothing is done.
There is something seriously wrong with this entire picture.
ABAG needs to rethink where Spare the Air should really direct their efforts.


Rerun
Blossom Valley
on Dec 18, 2013 at 6:50 am
Rerun, Blossom Valley
on Dec 18, 2013 at 6:50 am

Same rants, same crowd, the clear thinkers have moved on. You should too.


Mike C
another community
on Dec 28, 2014 at 12:35 pm
Mike C, another community
on Dec 28, 2014 at 12:35 pm

I know it was an older post, but the answer is "yes", PGE was a sponsor of "spare the air" as outlined in this PGE corp document from 2001 (Web Link Of course they will sponsor it when my power bill is $250/mo when I don't use my fireplace, and $57/mo when I do. The next couple days is slated to be in the 30's so guess what.. yup, spare the air. If PGE really wanted to sponsor "spare the air" they would cut their rates during the times when it was dropping in to freezing to encourage use of the grid instead of burning. Instead they cite "demand on the grid" and raise the rates. I'm getting sick of this corruption.


Robert
another community
on Dec 28, 2014 at 2:37 pm
Robert, another community
on Dec 28, 2014 at 2:37 pm

>Instead they cite "demand on the grid" and raise the rates.

Its almost like more people are heating their homes the demand for power goes up, very suspicious...


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