Winter Spare the Air Alert Issued for Tuesday January 8th

January 7, 2013 15:00 pm · 37 comments

A Winter Spare the Air Alert has been issued for Tuesday, January 8, 2013, in the Bay Area.

Wood burning is banned both indoors and outdoors on January 8, 2013, for the full 24 hours.

Air quality in the Bay Area is forecast to be unhealthy. It is illegal for Bay Area residents to burn wood or other solid fuels in fireplaces, wood stoves and inserts, pellet stoves, outdoor fire-pits, or other wood-burning devices. This wood-burning ban will be in effect for Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, southern Sonoma and southwestern Solano Counties. (Visit to see if your city is located within the Air District.)

Winter air pollution is mainly caused by particulates or soot pollution from wood smoke. Smoke from wood-burning fires is linked to illnesses such as asthma, bronchitis and lung disease, and is especially harmful for children and the elderly.

For more information about the Wood Burning Rule, or to check before you burn, visit or call 1-877-4NO-BURN.

You can also call 1-800-430-1515 and register to receive automatic phone calls when a Winter Spare the Air Alert has been called.

To see the current air quality forecast visit

Download our FREE Spare the Air iPhone/Android application for alert notifications, local air quality forecasts, podcasts and several tools to help reduce air pollution.

Thank you for doing your part to Spare the Air!

This AirAlert is provided by your Bay Area Air Quality Management District.

Enough January 7, 2013 at 3:05 PM

Why not just stop building new dwellings, would limit future pollution and raise home values.

Police State January 7, 2013 at 3:33 PM


All this post does is alert everyone to burn more ! If you stop posting these alerts, the air will be cleaner. Liberal solutions tend to have the opposite of the intended result.

Just sayin…

anonmtz January 7, 2013 at 3:34 PM

…and cue the usual haters of our air quality……go for it …..

Anon January 7, 2013 at 3:55 PM

How is this even enforced?

Jerk January 7, 2013 at 4:11 PM

@1 – HOW DARE YOU! Are you a commie socialist? You sound so anti-American to say such a thing, I’m going to call Homeland Security on you!

Ha ha. I totally agree.

MetaClaycordian January 7, 2013 at 4:16 PM

Comment comparing air quality regulation to genocidal fascism

Judge Roy Bean January 7, 2013 at 4:21 PM

They want you to “Rat-Out” your neighbor. Reminds me of Germany 1940.

Señor Smog January 7, 2013 at 4:28 PM

Note to self for Tuesday: run lawn mower, cook long slow BBQ, catch up on spray painting projects.

@Police State January 7, 2013 at 4:31 PM

Mr. Mayor is doing a service, go to other sites or newscasts and see if they notify users, few do so in a repeatable manner.

@Judge Roy Bean January 7, 2013 at 4:36 PM

Only if they are lawyers, politicians or those in power in the government, local and especially state or federal.
Then it’s not “Rat-Out”, it’s entertainment.

Electromaniac January 7, 2013 at 4:54 PM

What a “Spare the Air” day?
I thought “Spare the Air” days were only issued on major holidays when everyone is off work and would like to sit in front a nice warm fire to spend some quality time with their families.

Auggie Tater January 7, 2013 at 5:31 PM

Let’s go back to the good old days. When people died because it was not realized how deadly cold air inversions were when mixed with smoke and particulates.

The 1948 Donora smog was a historic air inversion resulting in a wall of smog that killed 20 people and sickened 7,000 more in Donora, Pennsylvania, a mill town on the Monongahela River, 24 miles (39 km) southeast of Pittsburgh.

4000 died from the Great Smog in London in 1952 when a temperature inversion with cold, stagnant air trapped under a layer (or “lid”) of warm air. Resulted in a fog, mixed with chimney smoke, particulates such as those from vehicle exhausts, and other pollutants such as sulphur dioxide, formed a persistent smog, which blanketed the capital the following day.

kiarfy January 7, 2013 at 5:31 PM

No ratting out the neighbors–grill and bbq–and a nice warm fire, a definite must. 🙂

Mary January 7, 2013 at 5:32 PM

Very soon they will be telling us when and where to Fart.

Cherrywood January 7, 2013 at 5:50 PM

Auggie Taror………. get a life. Those people burned coal. Not wood in an EPA certified wood stove. When my wood stove is going you cannot see any smoke. Its burned off. My family is cold so I’m going to have a fire. I’ve said it before, they can pay my PG&E bill.

All Is Lost January 7, 2013 at 5:58 PM

Ugly guns now, ugly air who will save us ? ? ?
When a process becomes unstable you correct or re-tune to reestablish equilibrium.
Yet Bay Area continues to add more people, . . . Oh that’s right more houses means more tax revenue, what was I thinking of, and who approves more houses? The people that spend the taxes, anybody seeing a pattern ?

jj January 7, 2013 at 6:04 PM

anyone get caught yet ??

STA January 7, 2013 at 6:49 PM

Spare the Air Day was thought up to benefit PGE. If people use other methods to heat their house, PGE will lose money. If they make sure to have spare the air day on the coldest days of the year, they will be gaining $$$$.
PGE is as bad as the oil companies, first they hold us hostage and we have to pay their ransom.

DanD January 7, 2013 at 7:22 PM

I have the spare the air day app and it clearly states there is no spare the air day for Monday and Tuesday for my zip 94520 and I am smoking prime rib for my family that will be coming to visit Tuesday, this was planned for last week when we had a spare the air day and I postponed it till this week.
I do not like to freeze fresh meat, so if you are sensitive please stay indoors!

Steve January 7, 2013 at 8:23 PM

@STA#19 – Spare teh Air had NOTHING to do with PG&E…. do your research before spouting off about things of which you know nothing.

Otherwise, show use the proof.

Antler January 7, 2013 at 8:50 PM

Cooking food is permitted.

Please remember that the heavy fog predicted for tomorrow morning will be trapping the stagnant air closer to the ground and will keep any wind from dispersing the already-existing pollution … plus any added smoke. (People who know they have auto-immune sensitivities to pollutants might want to use a dampened surgical mask even when indoors.)

STA January 7, 2013 at 9:18 PM

You can’t tell me that the Bay Area Air Quality Management and PGE are not bedfellows. I stand by my previous statement.

DanD January 7, 2013 at 9:22 PM

My understanding is you are allowed to cook food using pellets or charcoal if that is your only resource.

Amy January 7, 2013 at 10:20 PM

People are eager to rat out their neighbors if they are burning wood, but nobody discovered Jaycee Dugard for 18 years! I think our priorities are screwed up.

dinkydau January 7, 2013 at 10:20 PM

I heard the carbon dioxide we exhale from our lungs is polluting the air. Hey!! Just dont breathe.
Well, still I will bbq anyway with my weber!!\Oh yea, and smoke a cigar outside too!

Policy of Truth January 7, 2013 at 10:38 PM

@STE #19 & 23,

Actually I can.

There is no connection-period. If you still wish to remain ignorant you might want to look into the fact that spare the air days are the result of a State mandate…PG and E doesn’t begin to cover the state where Spare the Air days are enacted. Simply check the Tahoe area for example for a schedule of their “Spare the Air” days. Sorry Bub, but PG and E doesn’t service that region, which completely undermines your ongoing conspiracy theory.

Were you honestly thinking Claycord (Bay Area) was the only place in the State that has air quality management in place?

My gawwwwd, where do you come up with this cr@p? If you spent 1/10 the time researching as you do “assuming” you might not look so foolish.

P.S. I don’t necessarily agree with the Spare the Air days but at least I don’t make up conspiracies to try to make a point.

cornfed January 7, 2013 at 11:05 PM

I hereby declare tomorrow an official Spare-Me-the-Spare-the-Air-Day.

Me cold. Build fire. You have problem…FU.

@ All is Lost # 17….I didn’t follow the first half of your post, but I absolutely DO see a problem with our continuous population growth, and the legacy-building politicians who encourage it. It’s disgusting.

I thought I was the only one beating that drum.

IsRight January 7, 2013 at 11:25 PM

Policy of Truth is right. There is no connection between PG&E and the Bay Area Air Quality Management program. The Bay Area Air Quality Management Program is a state run program and a sub-division of the California EPA. PG&E is not.

Fun At Work January 7, 2013 at 11:41 PM

Have some fun, next time you’re around one of the planet savers get them talking about carbon and global warming. Get them fired up and passionate about their cause, when they are really stirred up get them going on green house gases. When carbon dioxide is mentioned tell them that if they really believed it and were serious they wouldn’t exhale.
Turn around and walk away.

smog lover January 8, 2013 at 12:00 AM

i AGREE, PG AND E is behind these spare the air days. I know a few big shots that work for PG and E and they have told me personally that they make a lot of money from these spare the air days on the coldest nights of winter. It is a total conspiracy and thats a fact.

Bobfished January 8, 2013 at 8:45 AM

There are those who prefer to burn petroleum products for heat and thus fill the pockets of huge petroleum companies and there are those of us who wish to burn a renewable energy source that only gives money to the wood cutters. Wood can be burned cleanly in a EPA certified stove! Burning petroleum products is not environmentally safe!

LorieStories January 8, 2013 at 9:06 AM

Good. My son has asthma and my husband insists on smoking up the house with his wood fires. Small particles in wood fires can lead to lung cancer. If you’re cold and don’t want to turn up the heat, wear a sweater.

Bobfished January 8, 2013 at 9:24 AM

I hope that we can get away from using petroleum products so your son as well as all children will have a planet to live on!
Over 2/3! of the particles you speak of come from sources other than wood. Over 2/3!!!!!!

Anon January 8, 2013 at 10:08 AM

Lorie, kids come first. Why are you with such an ass? Seriously. Your son has asthma and your husband doesn’t care ? What is wrong with your judgement? I know I’m being mean.. sorry, its that kind of day, but really…

Johnny rats January 8, 2013 at 11:20 AM

I reported several people last week.

You’re all next!!

Jim January 8, 2013 at 11:30 AM

you think burning is bad…check this out…A cow does on overage release between 70 and 120 kg of Methane per year. Methane is a greenhouse gas like carbon dioxide (CO2). But the negative effect on the climate of Methane is 23 times higher than the effect of CO2. Therefore the release of about 100 kg Methane per year for each cow is equivalent to about 2’300 kg CO2 per year. We cannot deny that farming has a major impact on global warming. Since farming is basically serving the consumer’s demand for food, we should look at our nourishment. With increased prosperity, people are consuming more meat and dairy products every year….so what they going to make us do next…stop drinking milk and eating meat?….you’ve already let them in the door…when will you stop giving your freedoms away?

freebie January 8, 2013 at 10:23 PM

the pot farm people burn firewood or whatever all the time. all week. now they have mattresses and garbage and broken chairs on the driveway. any ideas on how to deal with this. i believe the home is theirs. it was inherited.

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