Another Winter Spare the Air Alert Issued – Wood Burning Banned on Monday

December 8, 2013 19:00 pm · 39 comments

For the second day in a row, a Winter Spare the Air alert has been issued by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, banning wood burning in the region on Monday.

A cool, still weather pattern forecast for Monday prompted the air district to issue the alert, which will make it illegal for Bay Area residents to burn wood, manufactured fire logs or other solid fuel either indoors or outdoors.

Homes without permanently installed heating are exempt from the ban, according to the air district.

The Winter Spare the Air alert is the sixth this year.

Wood smoke contains fine particles and carcinogens and is the largest source of air pollution in the Bay Area during the winter, according to the air district.

First-time violators of the wood burning ban have the option of taking a wood smoke awareness class or paying a $100 ticket. Subsequent violations will result in higher fines.

The daily burn status can be found by visiting, or by calling (877) 4-NO-BURN.


1 Ted K. December 8, 2013 at 7:15 PM

Darn I’ll be at work.

I’ll drive to work my 5,500 lb., smog-exempt, 9 MPG , 4-barrel, long tube header, non-catalytic converter-equipped American truck to honor the BAAQMD’s draconian restrictions.

2 Chevrolet girl December 8, 2013 at 7:23 PM

No Burn Day sponsored by PG&E…on the coldest night of the year!

3 Anonymous December 8, 2013 at 7:36 PM

Right high wind warnings on the Benicia Bridge . Makes sense to me…not

4 Elwood December 8, 2013 at 8:38 PM

It’s not supposed to make sense.

It’s the government. They know what’s best for you.

Do as you’re told!

5 Blink December 8, 2013 at 9:07 PM

Lol good one #2

6 Chevrolet girl December 8, 2013 at 9:54 PM

@ Elwood…you nailed it!

7 Me December 8, 2013 at 10:03 PM

LOL, wood smoke awareness class.
I enjoyed a fine brisket this afternoon cooked for 5 hours on my Traeger wood pellet smoker. The neighborhood was plety “aware” of my smoke.


8 EcoNerd December 8, 2013 at 10:29 PM

@ Elwood

So you’re smarter than the professionals?

9 oldman December 9, 2013 at 6:06 AM

At least as smart as politicians and bureaucrats.

10 Russ December 9, 2013 at 6:43 AM

I submit to you, claycordians, the first official nominee for blogger of the year (second, technically, after nominating myself). I nominate Ted K for his use of “draconian” in a sentence.

11 The Mamba December 9, 2013 at 7:21 AM

Oh, I had a small fire in my outdoor fireplace yesterday to keep me warm while I barbecued. I apologize for my wood particles.

12 Spare Me BAAQMD December 9, 2013 at 7:43 AM

Airports, refineries, ports, non-essential traffic may continue today. Please don’t burn a piece of oak. BAAQMD finds it easy to target the little people, with all the money we provide them, to justify their existence. What a joke.

13 Connie Dobbs December 9, 2013 at 8:00 AM

#8 You’re not?

14 Anonymous December 9, 2013 at 8:04 AM

Wind blowing the trees around hardly stagnant air today

15 Bobfshed December 9, 2013 at 8:11 AM

The BAAQMD says there are 1.4 million fireplaces in the Bay Area. Last year they gave out 170 warnings or tickets during the winter. This is 0.01 %. That is about as close to zero as you can get. The cost was close to 2 million dollars! What a waste of money. Professional rip off artists.

16 Dave December 9, 2013 at 8:19 AM

They are most certainly not professionals. Hien Tran of CARB purchased his PhD on the internet. It has been proven and he was demoted.

17 The Mamba December 9, 2013 at 8:40 AM

I have to put lotion on my Hien Tran everyday or it gets inflamed.

18 Wake up people December 9, 2013 at 8:46 AM

This is how government controls you…. in the name of the “environment” they can do anything you let them do.

In the case of global warming, strike that, “climate change” you will be taxed, your freedoms will be restricted and in the name of mother earth, you will be a slave to these lunatics.

19 Facts December 9, 2013 at 9:28 AM

Get ready all you sheep for another no burn day tomorrow. Everyone has been being good, wind is blowing like crazy taking away the so called pollution and yet your friends at the air quality board have already expanded the areas with so called unsafe levels of pollution. Take a look at the National Weather Service website and see if they have a “air stagnation” forecast for anywhere in our area, NO they don’t. These people at the air quality board are led by an individual, Jack Broadbent, that is a Board member of the American Lung Association so what do think his feelings are??? He was also overheard at the only public meeting in Concord (which was attended by 13 people with only two speaking for the proposal) for the then “proposed” regulation saying “that he will be glad when these stupid public hearings are over so we can in act the new rules and stop people from burning wood”. So from that you can tell that the new regulation was a done deal already. There was also a chart on the wall that showed particulate matter amounts for different devices and yes regular fireplaces were way at the top, but how many people do you see using them? On the drive out of my neighborhood I go buy at least 100 homes and MAYBE see smoke or trace amounts in one or two. As for the 1.2 or 1.4 million whatever fireplaces in the bay area that are causing all of this so called problem people are using less than 1% of them but everyone is burning PG&E gas which puts out particulate matter as well. Yes that right your neighbors are killing you by burning PG&E gas. The point is that particulate matter from gas fired heaters/fireplaces put out almost the exact same amount of particulate matter as do EPA approved wood burning devices, IE: pellet stoves, fireplace inserts and free standing wood stoves! When I say almost identical I mean the lines almost touched each other. These amounts are well within the acceptable range according to “THEIR” charts. They also said it would be to hard to keep track of those with EPA approved low emission devices so they are putting them all together and regulating them the same way. Guess they never heard of a permit system where you register your low emission device and they put the list on one of their MANY computers. If the air quality is bad why are they not telling you not to drive as well??? like they do during the summer?? Think about it. Nobody burns wood during the summer so there is no reason to control it., but everyone is still driving their cars and trucks putting out the same pollutants which they say harm you. Its just another way to control/indoctrinate you. Anyway just some information for those of you who do take the time to read and understand.

20 Anonymous December 9, 2013 at 9:29 AM

Look at the San Jose State wind map. Averaging 9 knot winds today, 25 in the Altamont., Stagnant air?

They make their predictions at 2 PM the day before. Last night the temp prediction for Concord was off 11 degrees. We will see if their “science ” is subject to change. Got a call into a big shot their to see if they ever modify their rule.

21 Marissa December 9, 2013 at 9:47 AM

Logs in the fire place today as yesterday, and probably tomorrow too.

22 Get a rake December 9, 2013 at 9:56 AM

If you care so much about the quality of our air, You will ban blowers.

23 Anonymous December 9, 2013 at 10:37 AM

The PM2.5 prediction by BAAQMD for Sunday December 8 in the North Counties was 112. The actual PM2.5 peak for Sunday, December 8 was 72.

This is nothing more than raw bull*&^(.

Do your homework, people.

24 Whatever December 9, 2013 at 10:48 AM

Yeah right, 15 mph gusts right now in the upper 30′s during the middle of the day. I’ll be burning again tonight, just like I did last night!

25 claycordian December 9, 2013 at 10:58 AM

I’ve said it before, and now I include that waste of skin Jack Broadbent: BAAQMD suffers from a cranial-rectal insertion.

26 . December 9, 2013 at 11:38 AM

Buchanan Field Sustained winds of 10 mph with gusts of 20.7 mph.
Visibility 10 MILES.

But the gardeners with their gas powered tools are still working ? ? ?

$100,000 plus a year bureaucrats justifying their existence.

27 Dave December 9, 2013 at 1:16 PM

They already issued another one for tomorrow. Check out if you want the ACTUAL PM 2.5 readings. Just type in your ZIP.

28 Had a fire last night........ December 9, 2013 at 1:46 PM

Having one again tonight…………

Tomorrow too…………

EVERYONE needs to exorcize their freedom or it will be taken by Jack B and his band of kooks.

29 Bobfshed December 9, 2013 at 1:51 PM

During the Rim fire this year Yosemite had quite a bit of smoke. What did the government do? They encouraged people to keep going to Yosemite saying the smoke would not bother anyone. $$$
Strange that the firefighters were not wearing breathing protection fighting the fire.

30 . December 9, 2013 at 2:09 PM

Don’t be surprised when they have spare the air all week long.

31 Officer Barbrady December 9, 2013 at 2:55 PM

I dont have a problem with regulating air quality and I’ve seen it when the whole ‘hood was smokey, still air. Problem is, when conditions change, so should the ban.

I spent a bunch of time on the phone with these folks. Heres the short version:

1. The decision to have a burn ban comes from a decision tree. Interesting trying to talk to a tree. No human was identified.

The decision to ban fires is made at 2PM the day before. If the weather changes, as it did today, too bad. The protocol is not changable.

Their web site says cold and still air is the problem. San Jose State has a site that shows actual winds in the Bay area. Ranged this morning from 5 to 25 mph. Buchanan Field was 7 mph. High wind advisory last night and today on the Benicia Bridge.

The cold that was forecast yesterday was 24 in Concord , actually was 34 .

Bottom line, if they make a bad forecast, they wont change it. Protocol doesnt allow it.

There are no criminal penalties . They say they will sue you in civil court, which could be interesting. I would think subpoenaing the Head Honcho, since no one else will take responsibility, would be interesting..

32 Anonymous December 9, 2013 at 3:15 PM

Be careful about giving out information on where to get the truth. Keep on the look out for JB getting the .gov information removed. After all – the actual science and truth must be kept from us.

33 Anon December 9, 2013 at 3:28 PM

Our local representative on the BAAQMD is Supervisor John Goia. If you have an opinion on banning fires, his number is 510 231-8686. Im sure he would like to hear from you.

34 mwo1859 December 9, 2013 at 3:33 PM

I dont care if I am cold I will do what it takes to stay warm for me and my family. Damn democrats and tree huggers. All I can say is get a life.

35 @31 December 9, 2013 at 3:50 PM

Perhaps it’s time to identify politicians involved, phone and email, with this and star making it known if they are not responsive they can be voted out.
The ego of a politician properly motivated can change things.

36 Jane Olson December 9, 2013 at 6:42 PM

This is rediculous, especially for elderly people. They said it was a stagnant air day, well the wind was sure blowing all day long. PS. I will be sending my PG&E bill along shortly.

37 Marcus December 9, 2013 at 8:41 PM

It’s not that cold in CA. Try living back East. Or the Midwest.

Some of you are acting like you’re in Alaska. Put on some sweats and grab a blanket.

38 Anonymous December 9, 2013 at 9:56 PM

I’m calling Goia in the morning. He’s a politician as opposed to an unelected bureaucrat and may listen.

39 Elwood December 9, 2013 at 10:15 PM

I haven’t had a fire in my fireplace in years, but boy is BAAQMD giving me the urge to light a big smoky one for a long time. Maybe throw on an old tire or two, and shake on some particulates.

This appears to me to be just another hive of overpaid government drones trying to justify their existence.

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