Winter Spare the Air Alert Issued for Wednesday December 11th

December 10, 2013 15:00 pm · 70 comments

sparetheair
The Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) has issued the eighth Spare the Air alert of the season, banning wood burning on Wednesday December 11th.

The following information is from the BAAQMD:

Wood burning is banned both indoors and outdoors tomorrow, Wednesday December 11, 2013.

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.

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 www.sparetheair.org 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 www.sparetheair.org.

Visit the Apple App Store to download our FREE Spare the Air iPhone 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.

{ 70 comments }

1 MikeT December 10, 2013 at 3:03 PM

These people are getting to be alot like car alarms, they go off for no good reason, and no one pays attention.

2 shuckaduckie December 10, 2013 at 3:15 PM

This is total bull. When is someone going to call BAAQM on these lies? Yesterday’s North County peak PM2.5 level was 58. They had 102 on their website.

The day before the North County Peak was 72. BAAQMD had 112 on their website.

This is getting beyond contemptible. Will someone that is in a position to do something about this do something about it??

3 Anon-e-Cat December 10, 2013 at 3:16 PM

@MikeT well said sir, well said.

4 Incognito December 10, 2013 at 3:22 PM

Yes, well said, Mike.

Just talking about this very thing last night… after awhile these notices will be ignored.

On an added note, I drive over Kirker Pass Road every day. I do my own Spare the Air Day analysis. The last few days it has been clear, clear, clear in the evenings coming home to the Concord side. Makes you think you can see forever. So, I am having a hard time believing our air quality is that bad in my neck of the woods.

5 I think I have supernatural powers... December 10, 2013 at 3:30 PM

…I’m seeing a vision. It’s a little hazy. Hold on, here it comes. I am seeing…I am seeing…I am seeing a Spare the Air Alert! For…Thursday!

WAIT! Something else. Here it comes. Fr…Fr…Friday…Friday! Friday spare the air alert as well.

OH! Something else is coming through on the crystal ball. Something with a W. That mean anyone in the room? You sir. Yes. I’m getting a Wee…Wee? Weekend? Weekend! Yes! Weekend ban as well.

I’ve seen the future. Don’t doubt my powers!

6 Elwood December 10, 2013 at 3:34 PM

BAAQMD is an advertiser on Claycord.

Wonder if that’s why their pronouncements get such big play?

7 Bobfshed December 10, 2013 at 3:50 PM

BAAQMD has effectively banned wood burning in the Bay Area. There is no recourse.

8 Don P - N. Concord December 10, 2013 at 3:55 PM

What was that BAAQMD? Sorry I couldn’t hear you over the crackling noises coming from my fireplace ;-)

9 Not PC ever December 10, 2013 at 4:06 PM

Is the BAAQMD a duly elected law making body? No? Then their pronouncements only have the legal weight of suggestion.

10 Hope they don't catch me... December 10, 2013 at 4:08 PM

Baked beans for supper tonight…

11 Doreen December 10, 2013 at 4:09 PM

This is beginning to be ridiculous. Sunday, Monday & now tomorrow for spare the air, really? Keep the cars off the roads & the planes out of the skies & there will be plenty of air to spare. With all the “environmentally” logs that are on the market can we burn one of those?

12 Triple Canopy December 10, 2013 at 4:12 PM

Screw you BAAQMD.

13 Rule Follower December 10, 2013 at 4:15 PM

Most of the time I’ve been an adult, I’ve always just followed the rules. I don’t speed anymore- don’t even jaywalk. But these guys have lost even me. They have no credibility and their authority is even more questionable.

14 Dear I think.. December 10, 2013 at 4:28 PM

One of the better posts. If you could advise about the stock market, that would be better.

15 Chevrolet. Girl December 10, 2013 at 4:31 PM

Hey BAAQMD…BITE ME! I don’t even burn and you guys are out of control! But I am sure you are toasty warm with your pockets lined full of money from PG&E!

16 @shuckaduckie, #2 December 10, 2013 at 4:40 PM

Have you stopped to consider the reason for the low readings MIGHT be because there was decreased burning?

17 BMI December 10, 2013 at 4:54 PM

PE&E just spent billions on retrofits, fees and lawsuit payouts. They need your hard earned money to be spent on natural gas. How else will their beat the heat in the Bahamas while you freeze your penniless butts off. ;)

18 Michael 2 December 10, 2013 at 4:56 PM

Freezing cold night and we are afraid of lighting a fire in our fireplace because we may be caught by a government SS squad that will fine us for trying to stay warm in our own homes.This is America , land of the free?Life , Liberty ,Happiness the government is slowly taking those rights away and we are letting them do it.It’sad we are turning into sheep. The government is becoming our enemy. Our for fathers warned us.

19 2014 December 10, 2013 at 5:01 PM

Just think of it as Your continuing reward for voting democrat.

20 @BAAQMD December 10, 2013 at 5:02 PM

Thanks for the reminder. I need to bring wood home tonight.

Not only will I be blazing a fire at home, I will once again, remind my children of the insidious government cancer that perpetuates this crap on us in the name of the environment, all at the cost of my liberty.

Sorry Jack, we ain’t playing. Stick your ban where the sun don’t shine.

21 @environMENTALists December 10, 2013 at 5:12 PM

Wood heat is carbon neutral. Burning it releases the same amount of carbon as when it decays.

Get over it.

22 RunnerDope December 10, 2013 at 5:15 PM

>> This is total bull. When is someone going to call BAAQM on these lies? Yesterday’s North County peak PM2.5 level was 58. They had 102 on their website. The day before the North County Peak was 72. BAAQMD had 112 on their website.

@shuckaduckie,

Why don’t you try educating yourself a little before making wild accusations? The AQI number is scaled so that 100 is at the federal limit. The 58 and 72 numbers you quoted are raw data for PM2.5 (particulate matter of 2.5 microns) measured in micrograms per cubic meter.

23 The Führer December 10, 2013 at 5:21 PM

NO FIRE FOR YOU!
Now stick your right arm out and say, jawohl mein Führer!

24 Blink December 10, 2013 at 6:01 PM

Would love the addresses of anyone who’s connected with “spare the air” just to make sure no smoke coming from their fireplaces!!!!
You know no ones patrolling the hills of lamorinda ……

25 Easy to find December 10, 2013 at 6:15 PM

“The Air District is governed by a 22-member Board of Directors composed of locally elected officials from each of the nine Bay area counties.”

Perhaps they could just not be reelected? hint, hint…..

Really very simple just plug BAAQMD into a search engine and info pops up.

26 mutts December 10, 2013 at 6:16 PM

Give it a rest already.

27 TimeOut December 10, 2013 at 6:22 PM

It is possible that if BAAQMD enforces stricter
standards now, they will be able to loosen them
as we get closer to Christmas, so all of you who
must have a fire for Christmas will be able to do
so. On the other hand, if the smoke hangs in the
air day in and day out they may call an alert for
days up to and including Christmas.

28 Who Has More Pull ? December 10, 2013 at 6:34 PM

How interesting they don’t mention secondary particulate formation from industrial sources, VOCs, NOx and SOx. Some say over half of daily PM2.5 is thru secondary particulate formation.

29 Simple Answer December 10, 2013 at 6:37 PM

“It is possible that if BAAQMD enforces stricter standards now, they will be able to loosen them as we get closer to Christmas”

And that answer is, NO.

30 anon December 10, 2013 at 6:41 PM

Can I burn incense?

31 RunnerDope December 10, 2013 at 6:43 PM

>> It is possible that if BAAQMD enforces stricter
standards now, they will be able to loosen them
as we get closer to Christmas, so all of you who
must have a fire for Christmas will be able to do
so.

@TimeOut,

It doesn’t work that way. STA days are predictions mostly based on the prior day’s readings. I suspect that they know more people will have fires on Xmas than normal days and that that factors into their prediction.

32 Michael 2 December 10, 2013 at 6:47 PM

Gosh I sure hope the BAAQMD will allow us to have a fire on Christmas! Does anyone else think that’s a ridiculous statement?

33 Claire December 10, 2013 at 6:52 PM

For all of you who are whining about not having a fire:

IF YOU CAN’T AFFORD TO TURN ON YOUR HEATER”

34 Claire December 10, 2013 at 6:58 PM

1. Wear warmer clothing.

2. Grab a blanket (or 2,3).

3. Go somewhere where it’s warmer. (ANYWHERE!)

In the summer, people who don’t have AC go to the movies, the mall, the store, a friend or families house, etc. just to stay cool.

Do the same to stay warm. Quit complaining! You’re in CA, not back East, the Midwest or Alaska. Try -20!

35 the other jj December 10, 2013 at 7:09 PM

see you all in the class for first time offenders burn baby burn

36 Whatever December 10, 2013 at 7:17 PM

The best thing we all can do, is flood their burn complaint page with complaints against themselves! I did it, and know of others who have too. Give em a piece of your mind!
https://wscomplaint.baaqmd.gov/public/complaint_form.asp

37 @environmentalists, #22 December 10, 2013 at 7:31 PM

@environMENTALists December 10, 2013 at 5:12 PM

” Wood heat is carbon neutral. Burning it releases the same amount of carbon as when it decays”.
This discussion isn’t about carbon, but particulates in the smoke. And yes, wood smoke DOES contain particulates.

38 Triple Canopy December 10, 2013 at 7:34 PM

Clair @35

YOU AND YOUR OLK DO NOT DICTATE MY LIFESTYLE NOR RUN MY HOUSEHOLD.

This is my house and my liberty and I’ll do as I damned well please within my property lines.

39 12gauge December 10, 2013 at 7:43 PM

f*** baaqmd. nobody cares.

40 Sabrina December 10, 2013 at 7:49 PM

Prior to reading Claycord, I had no idea people got so worked up about Spare the Air Days.

I would think they would be a good thing. If your complaint is not being able to have a fire, turn the heater on. If you can’t afford to run your heater, turn it on long enough to take the chill out. How much can running the damn thing for 10-15 minutes cost? $1-3 dollars? if that’s too much to handle, turn it on for 5 minutes.

Personally, I think it’s nothing more than unhappy people looking for another reason to complain. The truth hurts!

41 The rat December 10, 2013 at 8:13 PM

I don’t know why I’m constantly amazes by the ignorance of posters on this site but I still am.

Don’t worry I’ll be in north concord and walnut creek with my windows rolled down looking for violators!!

Look for your fines in the mail!! Your children can thank me later

42 anon December 10, 2013 at 8:32 PM

You are polluting! That’s why we have RULES. LET’S FOCUS ON OUR HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENT!

43 Big G December 10, 2013 at 8:37 PM

I understand spare the air days however are restaurants not included? I notice over the weekend Lucille’s BBQ over at Sunvalley was burning and smoking away does this not apply to business?

44 Anonymous December 10, 2013 at 8:40 PM

Couple of things:

It’s not a criminal citation, its civil. Essentially they sue you, which means you get to subpeona witnesses. I’d start with their Director, as they refuse to give a name for the person who makes these decisions.

If they show up at the house I would not identify myself and would not answer the door. Makes it kind of hard to sue you if they dont know who you are. Concord PD will not assist them.

Next: Our elected representative is John Goia , member of the Board of Supervisors. I’d call him and point out yesterday there were high wind warning on the Benicia Bridge and we still couldn’t burn. The web site says that cool still air is the problem. They refuse to rescind a ban during a 24 hour period, no matter how much the weather changes.

That is all.

45 Anonymous December 10, 2013 at 8:42 PM

@ claire

Your post makes no sense. Are you Angelica?

46 Bobfshed December 10, 2013 at 9:26 PM

If they gve you a ticket go to court and tell the judge you were cooking. They will throw it out. Cooking with wood is not banned.

47 @The Rat December 10, 2013 at 9:32 PM

I don’t know why I’m still amazed that people don’t seem to notice or care when their freedoms are being gradually eroded, but I still am.

Go ahead and rat me out. I’m not afraid to take a stand for what I believe.

48 Pro Fi December 10, 2013 at 9:54 PM

Amusing all the way around….
You get mad when people break the law, but you all are above it. Pedestrians; motorists; motorcyclists, there are always the negative comments about how privileged they act when they don’t follow the law.
You can’t have it both ways… follow the law or stop complaining when others break it. And if wood is the only way to heat your home you have an exemption. So take the gas/electric heater out and you are all set. Or move… your call. But stop the crazy whining.

I am with Claire. I work in Hayward and I had no problem breathing at work today. Came home, got off at North Concord and my allergies started right up. You live in California…. not in the Artic.Get over it!

49 Pro Fi December 10, 2013 at 10:02 PM

@ Anonymous – If this is so OK to do, why do you feel the need to not identify yourself? If your not doing anything wrong there should be no problem then. No better then a common hoodlum…. oh and they will sue the property owner… doesn’t matter whether you rent it out or it’s your primary residence.

50 Will December 10, 2013 at 10:14 PM

I am Curious With all of the todo on this has anyone actually received a letter,warning, or a fine. from these idiots if so did you fight it or did you Roll over I would be very interested to hear from someone who has had dealings with these Nincompoops with the burden of proof lying on the accuser do they have some sort of heat sensing device I know such devices exist is it strictly on the word of your neighbor if it is strictly by complaint what proof do they have that it’s not just I’m I’m happy neighbor.I burn I have a fireplace insert I try to be as courteous to others as I can I do not damp it down so that it causes a billow of smoke out of my chimney I burn well aged hard wood and there is almost never visible smoke from my chimney as for you to say just turned on your heater it cost me nearly $20 a day to heat my home why thermostat never goes past 60 am I seldom leave it on all day on the other hand I can heat my house to a pleasant 70° Day and night for about $.85 with wood I receive Free wood from local tree companies split it with a gas powered log splitter and store it for one year I also provide wood for the Boy Scouts of America and my family that lives locally I have also donated a lot of wood to people in my church who are less fortunate

51 Will December 10, 2013 at 10:24 PM

I am Curious With all of the todo on this has anyone actually received a letter,warning, or a fine. from these idiots if so did you fight it or did you Roll over I would be very interested to hear from someone who has had dealings with these Nincompoops with the burden of proof lying on the accuser do they have some sort of heat sensing device I know such devices exist is it strictly on the word of your neighbor if it is strictly by complaint what proof do they have that it’s not just a unhappy neighbor. I burn I have a fireplace insert I try to be as courteous to others as I can I do not damp it down so that it causes a billow of smoke out of my chimney I burn well aged hard wood and there is almost never visible smoke from my chimney as for you to say just turned on your heater it cost me nearly $20 a day to heat my home why thermostat never goes past 60 am I seldom leave it on all day on the other hand I can heat my house to a pleasant 70° Day and night for about $.85 with wood I receive Free wood from local tree companies split it with a gas powered log splitter and store it for one year I also provide wood for the Boy Scouts of America and my family that lives locally I have also donated a lot of wood to people in my church who are less fortunate

52 Pro Fi December 10, 2013 at 11:17 PM

Well… the AQI at 10:00PM is moderate at 53. Check out this website and you can see all the local indexes: http://aqicn.org/city/california/easterndistrict/concord/

Maybe I should just start smoking in all those public places. Walk in front of you while you breathe my second-hand smoke. Make sure you are down wind too.

Just saying.

53 eyewhen December 10, 2013 at 11:30 PM

@Sabrina

You asked “if your issue is with not being able to have a fire, why don’t you just turn on the heat”
To which I must ask: “Are you a moron?”

You do see that your solution ( turning on heat) to the problematic issue ( not being able to burn wood).. ohhh WTF!!! I’ve been dooped into trying to explain the logic to grrrrrr Damn you Claycord!!!!!

54 Hmmm December 10, 2013 at 11:36 PM

Bundle up and quit complaining.

55 JLG December 11, 2013 at 7:23 AM

Seems like almost no one is concerned about the Air quality of what we take in our lungs.
If the Air quality becomes as bad as it is in China I am sure a lot of the same people would be blaming the Government for the bad Air quality while still lighting up the fire.

56 The Mamba December 11, 2013 at 7:33 AM

I spared the air, what do I win?

57 Mac December 11, 2013 at 9:02 AM

So let me get this straight.
We can`t burn wood in our firplace, whenever it is too cold outside.
Because it stays around and makes problems.

So i guess we can only burn wood when it is warm outside ? (when it is not needed)

I just feel sorry for those that heat their house with a fire in the fireplace.

I know it is costing me a lot more money to have my heater blasting instead of my fire burning.
Because my heater never comes on, when the fire is going good.

So i`m not complaining.
More like, i`m not understanding why ?

58 Dominic T December 11, 2013 at 9:03 AM

I’m with Sabrina and Claire.

Ask Santa for a blankie for Christmas and quit whining!

You’re in CA, not the North Pole!

59 Silva December 11, 2013 at 9:11 AM

I am one of those people with breathing issues. I always know before I get my robo call from the BAAQMD (I used to burn wood a lot) when it’s going to be a spare the air day. I know it when I open my window for some delicious fresh air & I imediately smell smoke instead & have to close it as my asthma flares up. I also anticipate the call if I’m out & about and there’s smoke in the air. It destroys the view of/from our beautiful mountain, but also it keeps people with breathing issues from being comfortable while breathing. It’s not a big joke really. I understand the pleasure of a crackling fire in the hearth, but I’m forced to see the other side of it.

60 @Silva December 11, 2013 at 9:27 AM

Sorry for your condition. I don’t understand though. At night, when it freezing cold outside and nobody wants to be outside, most everyone wants to be inside with a fire to keep warm. Unless it’s getting smoky inside your house from my fire, I don’t see how my fire is harming you.

61 Bobfshed December 11, 2013 at 9:29 AM

Over two thirds of the PM 2.5 in the winter comes from sources other than wood fires! For those of you who want clean air for your breathing problems you need to move to an area that does not have millions of cars, 10 oil refineries… Look at the data that BAAQMD provides and you will see that the problem with the air ( if there is one) comes from the production and use of petroleum products!

62 Bobfshed December 11, 2013 at 9:35 AM

The government is very good at diverting attention from the real problems. They will throw wood smoke in your face all winter long to take your attention away from what is producing the most PM 2.5 and greenhouse gasses. Sorry to tell you it is not wood fires.

63 shuckaduckie December 11, 2013 at 9:46 AM

Like Rod Serling’s “Nightmare on Elm Street.” It’s great that BAAQMD is bringing us all together.

64 Silva December 11, 2013 at 10:12 AM

Sometimes one must go outside. There’s no avoiding it. I don’t go out at night much, but I do enjoy fresh air. Sometimes women of a certain age need to crack a window for some good chilly air, even in the dead of winter. But it’s not just YOUR fire, it’s all cumulitive. It doesn’t just disapear in the morning. I wish I could just go about my life without symptoms, but one does need to walk out the door occasionally. I really understand the draw of we humans to a hot crackling fire, but there are so many of us now. I’ve haulled home (and up the stairs) my share of cords of wood, and used it as my only source of heat too, by necessity before I was no longer able to do that. Although I had no other heat source, I made sure I didn’t burn when the spare the air day was announced. I too burned only well seasoned hardwood, HOT, in a huge lovely fireplace which did a good job heating my home 24/7. That was before I learned what it was like to always feel uncomfortable breathing. A friend of mine died during an asthma attack. It’s not a joke, and air quality isn’t either for those who are compromised.

65 Silva December 11, 2013 at 10:13 AM

Yeah, there are also other culprits beside wood fires. It all adds up.

66 shuckaduckie December 11, 2013 at 10:54 AM

Thank you for this link:
http://aqicn.org/city/california/coastandcentralbay/oakland/
Also go to:
http://airnow.gov/index.cfm?action=airnow.local_city&mapcenter=0&cityid=314 to view current conditions and to look at Yesterday’s Maps and Data

67 Bobfshed December 11, 2013 at 11:21 AM

@Silva,
The human draw to petroleum products is by far greater than their draw to wood fires. Look around and you will see a world based on petroleum products. Take away their wood fire and they will complain. Take away their cars and airplanes and you will see anarchy. Every room in your house has a petroleum based product in it. Either made with petroleum products or petroleum products were used in the manufacturing process. They have you focused right where they want you. On wood fires!
Like everything else, they should let technology drive towards building clean wood burning devices. We already have EPA certified stoves and as time goes along maybe even better stoves can be built. Now they have just stopped that dead in the water. Why? They won’t burn petroleum.

68 Silva December 11, 2013 at 1:07 PM

@Bobfshed. Yeah, I agree.

69 I'm trying December 11, 2013 at 4:05 PM

Been trying to get a ticket then fight it. No luck yet. Too cool of neighbors who don’t snitch. Or care. I asked. Where are my stalkers when I need them?

70 Bosco December 11, 2013 at 6:20 PM

Last night, you could smell the smoke
from the neighbors fireplaces inside!
It’s pervasive … it seeps in through
little cracks in this old house. You don’t
even have to go outside. I don’t care if
you want to have a fire in your fireplace
in spite of a STA day. Knock yourself out!
Just keep the smoke off my property.

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