New Fines for Spare the Air Violators in the San Francisco Bay Area

October 25, 2012 15:04 pm · 105 comments

If you burn wood during Spare the Air days starting November 1st of this year, you better plan to pay the price, or take a class.

Aaron Richardson with the Bay Area Air Quality Management District says this year, first-time violators of the Wood Burning Rule will receive a $100 ticket, with an option to take an online or written Smoke Awareness Class and have the fine waived. Second violators this year will receive a $500 ticket, and subsequent violations will increase over that.

In the past, first-time violators were given a Warning Letter, and second time penalties started at $400.

The Winter Spare the Air season starts on November 1st and runs through February of 2013.

Wisecracker October 25, 2012 at 3:14 PM

While they are at it, how about driving around the Bay Area and pulling over polluting, smoke puking vehicles which clearly do not pass smog. Start dishing out these tickets and removing them from our streets.

The Authority October 25, 2012 at 3:18 PM

Catch me if you can, fascists.

linda miller October 25, 2012 at 3:19 PM

What is the website to go to?

Anon October 25, 2012 at 3:23 PM

So how much did Chevron get fined?

Buddy October 25, 2012 at 3:25 PM

Who they think they are? They are polluting the dense air when they drive around, so they should spare the air themselves

MIss Ranchogirl October 25, 2012 at 3:26 PM

great going.
Now they are turning neighbors against neighbors.
So many more pressing things out there.

Cowellian October 25, 2012 at 3:36 PM

This is one of those times I’m glad to be in Tennessee.

no handle October 25, 2012 at 3:37 PM

I thought we fought and won the war against the nazi’s .

Always Right October 25, 2012 at 3:39 PM

You want big government? You got it.

40 years of single party rule (democrat) in both chambers of the California legislature…. enjoy !

RaaaRRRR October 25, 2012 at 3:44 PM

And this is part of the reason that California is BILLIONS of dollars in DEBT…Public workers, driving public vehicles, to rat out and FINE private citizens who are trying to peacefully live in their own homes! This is asinine! Attend “a class?” PAID FOR BY WHO? Can you even imagine how much $$$ goes into this crap?!? Oh My Dear God, the world is spinning backwards!!! Save me from Crazy-fornia!

will October 25, 2012 at 3:55 PM

I sell firewood and burn no all cold days if you remove your heater you are exempt O.K. not to say a thing about the Fourth Amendment and Burden of proof.

Wisecracker October 25, 2012 at 4:01 PM

Does this organization employee individuals who drive around Bay Area neighborhoods? If so, they’d have to do this during the day, every evening, and every weekend during the day and at night, and on the holidays.

Or, are they relying on neighbors calling on their fellow neighbors? If so, I honestly can’t imagine doing this. And, how does that work? I call on my neighbor and they just automatically send the resident a ticket?

anon October 25, 2012 at 4:01 PM

Shut up and obey, subject. You’ve had 12 years, at least, in one of our indoctrination camps. You ought to know by now that whatever is demanded of you by your leaders in government is good for you. The classes are for the common good, it has nothing to do with some political cronies getting a fat contract to show you a bunch of videos on the effects of pollution.

get the texters October 25, 2012 at 4:02 PM

they’d make more money going after all the idiots who drive and text if you ask me!

Retired October 25, 2012 at 4:10 PM

So happy to have left Cuntra Costa County.

Asthmakid October 25, 2012 at 4:19 PM

Since when did this site become halfway to concord?

Just one brave law firm October 25, 2012 at 4:25 PM

Isn’t there some law firm out there willing to fight this non-elected agency, for the rights of property owners? Think the Constitution covers this…

Mr. John October 25, 2012 at 4:26 PM

Seriously? We’re getting up in arms because someone said, “Hey, there are a few days where the air quality is bad enough that burning things might cause people with sensitive respiratory systems to suffer – don’t burn on those days.” You need to burn wood that badly? And no, I’m not talking about the people that can burn legally on these days due to clear exceptions in the rules. Fighting for your “right” to hurt other people doesn’t seem like a very honorable battle.

elaine October 25, 2012 at 4:34 PM

so much for the land of the free. you cant do anything anymore with out being fined, geezz.

NotPC October 25, 2012 at 4:34 PM

I guess I’ll have to burn pertoleum products in my fireplace, just no wood. Good, dry wood is smokeless, but the PC feel good weepies will turn you in so they can say they did something good.

ANONONON October 25, 2012 at 4:44 PM

What somebody is going to do something about the crappy air out here. Over my wheezing body, they will.

You folks are the first people to complain if your neighbor doesn’t mow their lawn and have a house as neat and tidy as yours. You expect the Concord Police to follow up on all of your concerns but when it comes to the environment you are all “let the world be damned”. When your grandkids have asthma or you get emphysema then you will complain that we aren’t doing enough to clean up the air.

But I get it, you want to burn you fireplace just because you can not that it is needed to warm your house and screw the neighbors. If it’s not my problem the world can go “f” itself.

Really? October 25, 2012 at 4:45 PM

So what do they do about people doing a religious ceremonial burn?

Enfield303 October 25, 2012 at 4:47 PM

Great. Another reason for the jack booted thugs to kick our doors down and haul us away in the night. The next step is to indoctrinate the children to snitch on their parents.

The Real McCoy October 25, 2012 at 4:49 PM

Mr. Mayor, I think you should just post “OBAMA SOCIALIST JACKBOOTED THUGS BARBECUE NAZI LIBERAL FASCISTS” and close the comments every time there’s a Spare the Air alert.

Howard K Mullins III October 25, 2012 at 4:49 PM

The BASMOGNAZI’s are not elected. They are an independent organization created by CA government. The government has no control over its self initiated organizations. Look at the costly and extravagant move across the bay of the Transportation agency, using toll dollars to enrich their deviant life style.

Yes this government is out of control and the bleeding hearts have allowed it.

VOTE THE BASTARDS OUT and then VOTE THOSE BASTARDS OUT until the elected representatives of the people work for the people, not their own money grubbing agenda.

anonymous October 25, 2012 at 4:53 PM

I already know the PD is not going to assist them. The question is what do they do when you refuse to open your door. Seems to me they have to identify who is keeping the fire going. Absent a warrant , they can’t come barging in.

slagheap October 25, 2012 at 5:00 PM

good, excellent – about time the ordinance shows some teeth. hope they bust a bunch of you.

Anonymous October 25, 2012 at 5:01 PM

I don’t even have a fireplace and I think the whole spare the air deal is stupid. I love the smell of fireplaces, personally. Quite frankly, walking past someone smoking a cigarette is much worse!

Subterfuge October 25, 2012 at 5:02 PM

The STASI operated in a similar fashion. In the end, fully 1/3 of the civilian population informed on the other 2/3. Uhm… That’s a lot of rats!

M2 October 25, 2012 at 5:07 PM

As long as they don’t try and stop us from having fires on Thanksgiving, Xmas Eve or Xmas day. Last year was ridiculous. My husband isn’t going to be happy about this.

Highway Star October 25, 2012 at 5:09 PM

@10…. 2X!!!!!

To attend the class, you’ll likely pay an “administration fee” and then pay an exorbitant “registration fee”.

JD October 25, 2012 at 5:45 PM

@ M2, you know they will do that. Did it last year, and if I recall correctly the Christmas 2 years ago. Those are traditionally days when fireplace use increases, so to keep as many people from burning as possible they will declare a spare the air day. Legislation through Regulation….this is what it does.

Larry October 25, 2012 at 5:47 PM

The Lone Ranger and Tonto would freeze their ass off if they were still around today.The Air Quality Board in California is an expenssive joke at our expense.

Diggles October 25, 2012 at 6:04 PM

As someone with heightened sensitivity to bad air quality, I appreciate Spare The Air Days. (I always have a harder time breathing on those days and my lungs burn.) However, I would never report my neighbors for violations. I hope that people will take the alerts seriously. Burn only if you have to. People with respiratory problems will thank you for it.

Wow October 25, 2012 at 6:08 PM

This takes the cake as the dumbest thing I have ever seen anywhere in the United States. I will completely ignore this and laugh at the complete stupidity.

Me October 25, 2012 at 6:10 PM

Not only can you not burn a fire but you can’t BBQ as well, what else are they going to include? Can’t drive to work? Can’t mow your lawn? No deodorant day? Can’t take your shoes off out side? Don’t sneeze in public?

the Shi ite October 25, 2012 at 6:10 PM

Shariah Law and Taliban Rule is Alive and doing fine right Here in the Land of the “Free”!!!
Now go to the Airport and let the TSA grope your 9 year old Daughter and tell us how free you are.

Burn the PC Police October 25, 2012 at 6:21 PM

These Fascist Hippie Scumbags can go choke on their Medical Marijuana. I wish these pro government Obama lovers would but out of our business.

Total stupidity October 25, 2012 at 6:22 PM

Who the heck votes for this nonsense? You have to have SERIOUS issues to demand people stop having bonfires and using their fireplace in winter. This is a complete embarassment.

Poor Communication October 25, 2012 at 6:46 PM

If you have converted over to natural gas for fireplace and use it on a spare the air day do they fine you, how can they tell difference between natural gas fireplace insert and an EPA certified Pellet stove.. They need to communicate much better with the public or they risk a backlash. People are getting very short fuses when it comes to state government, especially after moonbeams prop 30 cuts kick in.

bigjim October 25, 2012 at 6:47 PM

We don’t have a working furnace and use our fireplace as our only source of heat. The liberal family next door to us is passing petitions around the neighborhood to make us stop using our fireplace because the smell of woodsmoke bothers them.Screw them .

Anon October 25, 2012 at 7:18 PM

So do you think the holy than thou neighbors know or care when the person they are calling in on don’t have any other means of warmth?

mwo1859 October 25, 2012 at 7:36 PM

I will burn if I need to keep my family warm!!!!!

Anon October 25, 2012 at 7:46 PM

They have to have someone to cite. Don’t open the door if they come knocking . Don’t talk to them or give any indication of who is there.

Chuckie the Troll October 25, 2012 at 7:53 PM

This is what “Regional Government” looks like. I hope you like it because it will only get worse. The Water Quality Control Board, ABAG, etc…are making policy and decisions that affect us all, and hide behind a wall of anonymity. And all of their dictates will cost money, jobs, and freedom.

If a City Council or Board of Supervisors did this they’d be recalled or voted out of office.

anonamust October 25, 2012 at 7:53 PM

Good. I’m sick of hearing about whiny people who feel it is their living right to do whatever they want. Our planet is going to $H*& and you are all worried about a cozy fire. Our children are inheriting a nightmare. People drive monstrosities because their giant SUV makes them feel more endowed. Our skies are clogged with dirty, filthy air. Due to more traffic stuck in commuter traffic and larger gas burning vehicles. If you can’t go without burning a log in the fire for those designated days, then you are even more pathetic than you realize.

MO October 25, 2012 at 7:55 PM

Well…not my business anymore, but I got bawled out by someone in a plain white wrapper parking on the wrong side of the street, when I put a little Habachi grill on the cement in the garage door opening…….two rib steaks on it………….(I didn’t know there was a spare the air day)…my Mom came out and told me that it might be one of ”those” days…………….oops….too late…they warned me.
After that I did it in the back yard for about 6 years. Never got caught again.
I have no opinion cause I only pay taxes there, I don’t personally reside there.

water drinker October 25, 2012 at 7:56 PM

you get what you voted for.

Want To Have Some Fun October 25, 2012 at 8:02 PM

This works, have done similar at work. Take note if you have a neighbor that “connected” say a lawyer or in government, from County on up. Make it a point on Spare the Air day to pay attention to their chimney, if you see smoke it is your CIVIC DUTY to report them.
Number of years ago DMV decided in their infantile wisdom to change how boat registration fees were determined. They decided to charge by the foot, guess who had big long boats? Rich people, lawyers, political contributors, you get the idea. That fee structure didn’t last but a few months. Too many people with political connections complained.

Give Them Time October 25, 2012 at 8:09 PM

What’s the fine going to be if someone turns in a false report. Getting back at a neighbor they don’t like.

Keep voting for democrats every election and it will get worse, eventually they will limit use of cars on spare the air days. Checkpoints and hand out tickets if you don’t have a “valid reason” for driving.

Wood Burner October 25, 2012 at 8:57 PM

Can I call on my pot head neighbors oh no. I did and was told to take my kids inside or go on a car ride by concord P.D. Concord PD would not even could out cause it MIGHT be medical. You can smoke enough weed to send me and my kids running form a cloud of smoke??? but I cant using my fireplace to keep warmth? GO TO HELL Bay Area Air Quality Management District!!!

Slugga October 25, 2012 at 9:07 PM

I think it is a pretty ridiculous idea, but come on, put this into a little perspective. If you really think this is anything like Nazi Germany you have absolutely no clue what that regime was like. And if you don’t like having a government then move to one of the fine failed states throughout the world where chaos reins.

anonk October 25, 2012 at 9:08 PM

Way to prime the pump Mayor. ……the usuals showed up to whine….AND….add to the count for advertisement sellers.

Hypocrites October 25, 2012 at 9:25 PM

I bet 90% of the people rightfully complaining about the facist nazi gov’t BAAQMD here vote for DeSaulnier and his ilk yet again on Nov. 6th.

RaaaRRRR October 25, 2012 at 9:36 PM

To those of you who may have respiratory issues and think that those of us who are outraged by this intrusion of government just don’t care about you, this is not true. I speak for myself, but, instead of an unconstitutional MANDATE that threatens and fines its’ citizens, I think they might catch more flies with honey. MOST PEOPLE would refrain from burning fires on bad air days if they were simply asked to voluntarily refrain and be responsible about burning. It is the arbitrary demand that we do not that is so infuriating!

On another note, it might cheaper to simply provide oxygen masks to those who have problems. Just a thought.

david October 25, 2012 at 10:12 PM

first off, the reason they use for not allowing fires in your fireplace is totally bogus. go to their web site and read the study for yourself. who gave them the right to make a law that has a fine attached? WE NEED TO GET RID OF THIS SO-CALLED GOVERNMENT AGENCY!! i say so-called because i didnt vote for any of the people that make up the BAARB. and neither did anyone else because they are appointed. when are we, (the citizens of this bay area) going to stand up and say we have had enough.

KenInConcord October 25, 2012 at 10:20 PM

I’ve said over and over again…. Remember when this all started with !! Free Bart rides!! !! No Bridge Tolls!!!!!! “Buy a EPA approved stove”. Save nuns and orphans from dirty air and water!!

So we LET them put in place LAWS!!! That allowed them to regulate our actions.
Then this…….

///1 year later— no more free Bart and bridge tolls
///2 years later—- more and more days, no more EPA stove waivers
///3 years later —– no more warnings and even more days, add campaigns and 800 number to turn in neighbors.
///4th year—- big fines, no warning, more days
Coming soon
///5th year —– infrared flyovers and sending citations to any with a heat plume on a no burn day
///6th. Year complete ban on wood burning of any kind!

:( October 25, 2012 at 10:35 PM

WOW. Mayor I am shocked that some of the comments made here are allowed. Yet i expose that your site has promoted the money making scam that gives a viruses and sends more scam email to email accounts and my comments are deleted? I guess my comments should be more mean spirited and racist instead of factual.
P.S. I am up to receiving 83 emails per since trying to sign up for a bargain posted through your blog. 83 more emails I never used to get until I signed up for an offer through your blog. Moving soon, cant wait to live somewhere civilized!

Anon PH October 25, 2012 at 11:29 PM

As said above…how are they going to cite you? If “they” drive by and see smoke coming out the chimney…they they must contact a person. I have never seen a house get cited for a violation.

If you don’t open the door, how can they verify the exemption? What exemption? If your central heat is not working…you are allowed to have a fire in your fireplace until you can get it repaired in a reasonable time.

As a matter of fact, in Contra Costa County, the BUILDING INSPECTOR cannot enter private property in response to a complaint about illegal work or permit issues. No judge in the county will issue a warrant.

You cannot enter my house without a valid warrant.

Communist Board? October 25, 2012 at 11:45 PM

Someone please educate me on how this board came to exist, how do these members sit on this board, are they elected by the people, how do they get the ability to think up these rules snd then enforce them without apparent oversight or under any kind of check and balance system??? Are they a self appointed fiefdom??????

Communist Board? October 26, 2012 at 12:00 AM

Furthermore, how is it that on these winter spare the air days, the few homes that may want to warm by a fire in order to save money on their gas bill are not allowed to yet the refineries are not prohibited from releasing their smoke and toxins into the air like they do every day? I’m sure with some digging you will find corrupt board members in bed with the refineries and pg&e because the refineries win two ways: 1. They can smoke up the atmosphere all day, everyday, even during “spare the air” and 2. We have to use more gas to heat our homes in winter due to “spare the air” which means more profits for them.

Exemption to Wood Smoke Rule October 26, 2012 at 12:01 AM

Am I exempt from the burn ban if I have another source of space heat, but it is not functioning?

The only source of space heat exemption states that a person is not exempt if they have another form of functioning space heat. For situations where there is permanently installed space heating that is not functioning, the residence or commercial space will be exempt from the burn ban until the last day of February of that year. That person will not be able to claim the exemption the following year based on having a non-functioning heater

This is from the BAAQMD website. Also, notice is says “PERSON” exempt and this:”The Woodsmoke Rule has three “limited exemptions” that allow people in specific situations to burn wood during a Winter Spare the Air Alert..” notice PEOPLE.

If they can’t contact you, they can’t cite you. If they do, your furnace is out of order, and the repairman is coming tomorrow. Right?

Dismantle this board! October 26, 2012 at 12:04 AM

Who do we make complaints to about the absurd power this board has grown to enjoy and how can we dismantle it altogether? A proposition? A measure? An initiative? How does this work to get something on a ballot?

Em Dubya October 26, 2012 at 4:42 AM

The more unelected bureaucrats regulate my private conduct, the more I do as I wish.

Ever notice that every Thanksgiving and Christmas is a spare the air day? This is preemptive social engineering. I go ahead and have blazing fires in my fireplace on those days. Come and get me. Maybe they will take my 20 ounce soda too.

B. Willson October 26, 2012 at 5:06 AM

You voters elected (and continue to re-elect) the idiot politicians that put this in place. You have yourselves to thank for it, so don’t come crying here….

Vindex October 26, 2012 at 5:18 AM

Re-education camps, nice. These people and this agency is deplorable. Give your freedoms away slaves. I’ve tried to contact them about their unconstitutional power and I’m directed to their board. Their board is made up of local council members. One of them was Marc Ross of Martinez. Not sure if he is on there anymore. I’ve voted no on him ever since.

How about a Bounty..?? October 26, 2012 at 6:24 AM

It would be nice to screw my neighbor…and make a few bucks..!

Shiloh October 26, 2012 at 7:02 AM

@communist rule
Do you really think the refineries are allowed to release toxins into the air all day every day??! The “smoke” you see over the refinery is actually steam. They use equipment designed to capture and destroy particulates before they ever reach the open air. The BAAQMD is all over this, showing up to do random air quality tests at any time.

Anon777 October 26, 2012 at 7:06 AM

TO POSTER #59 🙁 Have you ever heard of that little thing called FREEDOM OF SPEECH???? DOH!

I don’t get the chance to have many fires in our fireplace, so when I can, I will, regardless of spare the air. When this board starts going after the big polluter’s maybe I’ll heed their warnings. Glad to see most people disagree with this stupid rule.

Anon October 26, 2012 at 7:08 AM

Just wait until they go around and test your water heater and Heater exhaust vents for Carbon Monoxide, equivalent to smog on your car.
Stop them now before they start fining your bowel movements.

Smokey October 26, 2012 at 7:08 AM

It’s about time BAAQMD sticks it to the 50’s lawnmower guy who burns green wood on a SPA day just because…who knows why?. Go get ‘im.

dal October 26, 2012 at 7:13 AM

Off subject
Go buy a gallon of paint. You pay sales tax and ” paint care fee” 75 cents per gallon. Time to change. Vote them out.

dal October 26, 2012 at 7:19 AM

The fee started oct.1. What could we fee next?

dal October 26, 2012 at 7:26 AM

Correction, It started Oct.18.

DoReMi October 26, 2012 at 7:33 AM

So. No mention of garden blowers or the airport?

Actually I distain the daily use of burning wood to heat the home. This is ineffectual and costly. And smelly. Especially if you burn your garbage while your at it.

Wesley Mouch October 26, 2012 at 7:38 AM

Which political party foments the unbridled metastatic growth of government? (This may be tough to answer, but the primary offender is currently in power in Sacramento.) If you have had enough of wealth (and freedom) confiscation, cast NO votes for ANY candidate from that party.

True reform candidates will inform the voters of the costs and unconstitutional overreach associated with bureaus run by commissars such as CARB and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.

dal October 26, 2012 at 7:49 AM

New fee ideas. No need to pass new tax laws.
We could fee household cleaning products, swimming pool products,lawn care products,fast food bags, plastic outdoor chairs, electronics.My mistake they do fee electronics.

jose October 26, 2012 at 7:52 AM

If you really want to know what the EPA/CARB has in store for us, go their websites……it will knock you socks off.
Pellet stoves are now also included with the wood stove group. Down the road a few years, natural gas will join them.
They are an out of control agency with non-accountable other groups working with them.
The air will never be clean enough for them. They would lose their jobs.

jose October 26, 2012 at 7:57 AM

Here is a website to see if you are allowed to burn on certain days, Keeping in mind that “they” really don’t want you burning at all. That will come down the road in a couple of years.

Look it up October 26, 2012 at 8:02 AM

BAAQMD has about 200 employees that have an average salary of $100K a year plus benefits. And that is only one of a couple dozen Air Quality Management districts in this state. Some districts are much smaller of course and some larger. Millions and millions of tax dollars for chimney police. And you wonder why CA is broke??

jose October 26, 2012 at 8:07 AM

If you want to know if you can burn on certain days, go to, locate the zone you live in and go from there.
Pellet stoves are now included in the woodburning catagory.

Wisecracker October 26, 2012 at 8:33 AM

There are notifications of Spare the Air Days year round in the Bay Area. This past summer they issued them and advised individuals to use public transportation, not to barbecue, and to not use hair spray. Is the next step fining households who do barbecue in the summer/winter on spare the air days?

I wouldn't be surprised October 26, 2012 at 8:35 AM

….If PG&E was somehow connected to the “spare the air” days…We rent an old house in Concord with drafty, old windows, and an ancient heating system that is EXPENSIVE to run….at least $20/night (about 3-4 hours)…

Luckily, there is an awesome old iron woodstove in the living room. We’ve fired it up a few times and, wow, wouldn’t you know it- it heats the entire house…

I just would not be surprised if Pge had a hand in this because obviously they’ll profit if we’re forced to use our heaters (for those who have them) rather than using fire to stay warm. Either way this is bullshiz

Not to mention the chemtrail crap they pollute our air with on the regular…yes people it’s real…

@ Shiloh October 26, 2012 at 9:30 AM

don’t drink the kool-aid shiloh…..remeber how it was discovered that the Richmond Chevron refinery was bypassing it’s air quality regulation system to get around the ability to release it’s toxins? Are you really gullible that all you ever se is steam coming out? LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Shiloh October 26, 2012 at 9:45 AM

No kool-aid here, I know this first hand. Of course there are rule breakers but they get caught at some point. The poster above was acting as if there are no laws or procedures in place to keep refineries from spewing toxins into our air. Remember why our gas is so expensive?? And I, for one, am not on board with enforcing no-burn days. MOST people don’t burn already – those who do, do it because they can’t afford to pay hundreds of dollars to pg&e every month all winter long.

anonymous October 26, 2012 at 10:00 AM

A poster said, “They can’t cite a house” Thats true. They have to have a human being. They don’t have warrants, the local cops have already said they are not going to assist (what with them trying to catch real crooks). So whats the hapless inspector to do? Heres what he will do: He will bang on your door and hope that some fool opens it and identifies himeself so he can be cited.

Jim October 26, 2012 at 10:01 AM

Welcome to Nazi Germany…the comparison is not unfiar…I have studied it…just wait until the secret “smoke” police have neighbors turning in neighbors…don’t think it will happen, what if they start offering “incentives” to people if they happen to make a call about a potential fire at their neighbors house…sound familiar…they use to give special privelages who turned in neighbors for harboring jews or working for the resistance….When will we stand up against the oppresive liberals who hold the bay area hostage? Seriously…thet keep stepping further and further into our homes…they tell us how to warm ourselves and if we violate THEIR rules we pay, they come to our schools and tell our children what to drink, in some areas they have gotten smoking banned inside someone’s own home…i.e apartments that are illegal to smoke in…As we give up our rights to these fascists we become the victims…they tell us to find cleaner sources of energy and want us to use solar….but they NEVER take into account what it takes to produce a solar panel…if they did then their “figures would get VERY skewed…check out the attached article about the how not so clean solar energy really is…not such a rosie picture and yet has ANY berkinstock wearing, prius driving, bleeding heart leberal EVER said or written these…That’s because they hide from the truth…yeah fire produces smoke and CO2 but then so does solar panel production produces it’s own pollution 17000 times worse…yeah 17000…

Steve in Concord October 26, 2012 at 10:25 AM

This is a bunch of crap. How about the government get the hell out of my life. I do not need big brother telling me what to do and when to do it. This is all “feel good” garbage that makes the liberals feel important. Forest fires, volcanos, etc (which all happen in nature) cause more damage than my fire place. I know the “bad” SUV is also is supposed to make me feel bad – it does not. Big guys cant fit is a Prius and carry the family too. There have been multiple ICE AGES and WARMING events in history – did the “cave man’s” SUV cause that too? NOT! You hippies that drive plug in electric cars are making it worse that my fireplace too – You take more power from the electrical grid with is mainly coal powered (GASP), and all the batteries in your car are far worse than my fireplace for the environment. Get a clue and leave me alone…

Shuley October 26, 2012 at 11:25 AM

@ #84 I wouldn’t be surprised. If you have your landlord get an HVAC person to come out and inspect that old furnace, he can write you up an order stating the old furnace is not functioning. Then, your wood stove is your primary heat source and you are allowed to use it regardless of Spare the Air days. That’s what I did. However, you can only get away with this for one year (if you are cited, if you aren’t keep doing this). Regardless, my fireplace insert produces such little smoke, you can hardly see any smoke at all coming from the chimney.

sfsean October 26, 2012 at 12:08 PM

Look on the bright side. It means more jobs for the kids graduating from college. They can patrol the neighborhoods looking for smoke, peeking over your fences and writing tickets. Elect Obama again and this is what you’ll get.

Captain Bebops October 26, 2012 at 12:30 PM

I’m a bit on the fence about this. For one thing I’ve been in India and seen the most polluted cities on earth and believe me this area was that polluted even the most right wing of you would be calling for regulations.

OTOH, I know how lame bureaucrats can be. It’s doesn’t matter what their political leanings are they seem to derive joy in being authoritarian. These days their announcements sound like they’re right out of Cold War East Germany. We the public probably need to take them on over this rather than just complain on news boards. For instance, how about encouraging positive clean heating programs rather than negative draconian air enforcement.

sfsean October 26, 2012 at 12:52 PM

You’re right Captain, India is a cesspool. Countries with corrupt politicians allow companies to pollute the air as long as the bribes have been paid. In this country I think if the EPA etc would just put out an announcement with the actual smog index and ASK people to cut down on the bonfires most people would cooperate. Americans are by genetic code to automatic rebel when people try to force them to do or not do something.

To Wisecracker October 26, 2012 at 1:00 PM

There are actually a**holes who get off driving around at night with flashlights looking at rooftops for smoking chimneys and turning the address in. The CC Times did a story a couple years ago about 2 brothers who are in competition with each other seeing who can turn in the most folks each night! So the agency does not have to be open at night. They have enough a**hats doing the job for them.

BAAQMD is pure evil October 26, 2012 at 1:13 PM

Steve and Jim have it 100% right. Pure molten evil to encourage neighbors to inform on each other. Love the compassion for the poor and elderly who might depend on fireplaces as their main heating souces. Wouldn’t want to cut into PGE’s profits now…also the holidays are coming up, and god forbid, a working family enjoy a fire one of those days. Watch for the studies that somehow justify no holiday fires, whether windy, calm, rainy or other. I would say BAAQMD’s credibility is about 0% in our County.

Lime Ridge October 26, 2012 at 1:16 PM

This is WORSE than the holocaust.

Chuck Heston October 26, 2012 at 1:16 PM

“They can have my Duraflame when they pry it from my dead (warm and toasty) hands.”

@sfsean October 26, 2012 at 1:19 PM

sfsean – Actually, elect Romney and this is what you’ll get. He wants to push more decisions to the state and local level. BAAQMD is a local agency. It’s BAAQMD, not USAAQMD.

Cold Weather is Coming October 26, 2012 at 1:49 PM

Big Brother lives accross the street from me. He’s the first one to turn in a neighbor if they burn on special air days, are not up to code, draw on the sidewalk, run an illegal lemonaid stand etc. etc. And he’s a Democrat. His house was broken into a few months back. He asked if I saw anything, I said nope, except that young black male in a silver car carrying your TV out. But I didn’t want to profile so I did nothing. :0)

cornfed October 26, 2012 at 1:59 PM


Anonymous64 October 26, 2012 at 2:17 PM

Per BAAQMD enforcement (cannot name employee), violators are caught in two ways.

1. Your neighbor reports you to BAAQMD via


b. 1-877-4NO-BURN (1-877-466-2876)

2. 70 inspectors (each inspector for 20,000+ chimneys) drive a Toyota Prius with infrared cameras looking for violators. They mostly focus on two areas of the bay. Napa County being one of them. They also from time to time use helicopters to scan larger areas.

This is non-partisan, so please no hate comments.

Smoke October 26, 2012 at 2:30 PM

If you get busted, ask for a trial…I will NEVER vote “guilty” for a “Spare the air” defendent.

On the other hand, if you have anything to do WITH enforcing “spare the air”…well…that’s your problem.

BTW: were “JOBS” created due to “spare the air” days?
Did Bay Area Smog go out and hire employees for enforcement…there by creating jobs?

I think we need an audit of the “special district”…get it: “special”.

%^&$ you, Bay Area Smog Heads.

Burn clean, dry wood... October 26, 2012 at 2:37 PM

For those who do use their fireplaces, if you burn clean, dry wood, you will virtually have no smoke. It’s those who burn green wood, paper, and save up all their other trash to burn who become the problem!

Enfield303 October 26, 2012 at 3:43 PM

Will it still be legal to burn(wait for it)… Corn snakes

Live free or die October 26, 2012 at 7:07 PM

So Mexifornia is in debt past their eyeballs, so the plan is to tax the public more – when they cry outrage at that, just fine them in every way imaginable — more money for the govt coffers. So, soon enough there will be little we can do without a fine attached to it. All in the name of the “climate change” crowd – which is complete hogwash but they have enough drones convinced so the constant regulations are ok with them. Read about Agenda 21? The REAL plan for our “free” society.It is in place right now and all of this is part of it. Just be a good citizen and sit in your govt housing, ride your bike, eat chicken nuggets, read by flashlight, no barbeques or holiday fires,no veggie garden, pay your taxes over and over again -or hey, just get food stamps and welfare and someone else will pay your taxes. Oh, and snitch on any neighbor who isn’t doing the same…welcome to the police state. Mexifornia is leading the way. Oh, and then look at the lifestyles of the politicians and liberal elite. Do as I say not as I do.

Bob Moore October 30, 2012 at 7:35 AM

The BAAQMD has lowered the standard for which they declare a Spare The Air Night! There will be even more nights that you can not burn because of this. Their goal is to ban wood fires in the bay area so that we can continue to burn more petroleum! You an do anything you want On a spare the air day and risk no fine! Why, because it involves petroleum burning.

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