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Spare The Air Warning Issued For Saturday

The warning means there should be no burning of wood, manufactured fire logs or any other solid fuel.

By Bay City News

Santa Claus better not see any fires when he comes down the chimney on Christmas Eve.

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District has issued a Spare the Air alert for Saturday, banning the burning of wood, manufactured fire logs or any other solid fuel, both indoors and outdoors.

The alert, the ninth in the region since the winter season started on Nov. 1, was issued because of anticipated cold and still weather conditions that will trap air pollution close to the ground.

The 24-hour ban prevents the use of fireplaces, woodstoves, outdoor fire pits or any other wood-burning devices. Homes without permanently installed heating are exempt from the ban.

"We want everyone to be able to enjoy this holiday season at home with loved ones rather than spending it in the emergency room with a relative having difficulty breathing," Jack Broadbent, executive officer of the air district, said in a statement.

During the winter months, wood smoke is the leading cause of air pollution in the Bay Area, according to district officials.

Wood smoke contains harmful pollutants such as soot and carbon monoxide and toxins such as dioxin, which has been linked to increased cancer rates in adults.

More information about the ban can be found at www.sparetheair.org or by calling 877-4NO-BURN. Those wishing to receive automatic phone calls when a Winter Spare the Air alert is issued can register by calling (800) 430-1515.

Jack Lyness December 23, 2011 at 10:21 PM
How did The Grinch get this job, anyway? Seriously, I think we must be overlooking some more creative solutions here, especially around the holidays. (And, NO, I'm not talking about banning traffic on Christmas Eve.)
Tim December 23, 2011 at 10:53 PM
Screw these damn AQMD Nazis.... I'm having my fire and to hell with them. They do not have the authority to tell me what I can and cannot do on MY property!
Victor De La Cruz December 24, 2011 at 05:18 PM
This is some serious Bull excriment!!!
Mona Taplin December 24, 2011 at 05:24 PM
I haven't been able to use my fireplace in years but I think that even those like me with asthma and allergies could understand other people enjoying a cheery fire on Christmas and Christmas Eve. I think a little compromising is warranted here. But there's a hefty fine to pay if you are caught ignoring those regulations.
Steve Shambaugh December 24, 2011 at 07:06 PM
They did this last year too. Sick of it. After investing 5k into a wood burning insert with the lowest emissions of ANY comparable product, you'd think they'd take this into account? NO!!!!!!! Government, and their henchmen....
James December 24, 2011 at 07:33 PM
I've been burning wood in my Fireplace for over two weeks now every day and have yet to get a knock on the door or even a letter. No Gov Agency will tell me what I can and cannot do when I pay my frickin taxes. They can kiss my ass!
Mona Taplin December 24, 2011 at 08:00 PM
James, it's almost the New Year. You ARE going to behave better then aren't you?
James December 24, 2011 at 08:07 PM
Of course! But there's two things I will always skirt the law for.... Fireworks and Holiday Fireplace usage. Both of these are American Traditions which have existed from the very beginning. Just because some Nancy boy with a coke addiction adds a Law Banning such during said Times, doesn't mean I have to follow that fool thinking nor do I have to subscribe to it.
Mona Taplin December 24, 2011 at 08:41 PM
I like fireworks too, except for those that sound like we are being bombed as we discussed before. I believe compromises can be made here too. I'm one of those who get to puff on my asthma inhaler frequently on spare the air days, but I personally think we can make some compromises, especially during the holidays. Whatever, I do sincerely wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Healthy, Prosperous, Happy New Year. Being an old fool as a few of you have pointed out, I cry when I pass by the Salvation Army building on food distribution days because there is so little I personally can do to help, but I am thankful that there are good organizations who work hard to provide food, clothing and wrapped gifts to the needy. Oh darn it,- there I go changing the subject again! An extra special Merry Christmas to you James.

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