Spare the Air Alert Issued for Christmas Day – Wood Burning Banned

December 24, 2013 12:53 pm · 44 comments


It’s official; Bay Area residents will not be allowed to light fires in their fireplaces on Christmas Day.

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District has announced that Wednesday will be a “Winter Spare the Air” day, meaning it is illegal to burn wood, manufactured fire logs or any other solid fuel indoors or outdoors.

There has been no recent rain, winds are light and the mid-week forecast calls for dry, mild weather, which means pollutants that have built up close to the ground will remain stagnant and the air will be unhealthy to breathe, district officials said.

Children, the elderly and those with respiratory conditions are particularly vulnerable to health problems on such days, and Spare the Air days are meant to help them breathe easier by keeping the air as clean as possible.

First-time violations of the ban will be met with a fine of $100, with the option of taking a wood-smoke awareness class instead of paying the penalty. Subsequent violations mean a fine of $500 or more.

Residents can check the daily burn status by visiting the air district’s website at or calling (877) 4-NO-BURN.

© 2013 by Bay City News, Inc. — Republication, Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.


1 Libertarian December 24, 2013 at 12:59 PM

From the other post:

They just banned burning on Christmas Day, David Garrison thinks he is god. He threatened me with a year in county jail for questioning the validity of STA days.

Don’t believe me call him at (415) 749-4768 and see for yourself.

Anyone, just try it, you’ll see that you get threatened just like I did. I thought this was sweet free America. Not Nazi Germany.

2 russ December 24, 2013 at 12:59 PM

Here we go…….

3 TinFoiler December 24, 2013 at 1:09 PM

Meanwhile, our skies continue to be littered by Geoengineering trails from the planes. It has potential to reach mid 70′s today had they not Blocked out the Sun.

4 Mark December 24, 2013 at 1:10 PM

Yeah right.

5 Anonymous December 24, 2013 at 1:18 PM

Why is is that the District absolutely refuses to name the official that makes the final decision?

6 ThisIsAJoke December 24, 2013 at 1:25 PM

What the actual f**k. We have tanker ships that put millions of times of the smog into the air than any car or wood fire. We make rules allowing this bulls**t to go on. We must protect the almighty corporations. If you need warmth, don’t burn wood, use corporate energy to power your heater. Our world is being systematically destroyed because people don’t care enough to say enough with the bs.

7 bumper morgan December 24, 2013 at 1:29 PM

Nany state, junk science garbage. We all let them creep in our doors, now these Govt idiots are drunk with power…

8 oldman December 24, 2013 at 1:31 PM

Come and get me

9 JRConcord December 24, 2013 at 1:34 PM

I will be smoking all day :-)
Let me ask in all seriousness. What would Jesus do?
To burn or not to burn.
You can take my matches from my cold dead fingers.
Give me fire or give me death.
Its Obamas fault there was never pollution before he wass elected dictator.
I might burn dinner, is that bad?

10 The Closer December 24, 2013 at 1:42 PM

Wish I had a fireplace so I could not burn wood on Christmas.
. :(

11 Mister Wister December 24, 2013 at 2:36 PM

Nothing but pure ignorant trash posting on here today!

12 Howard K Mullins III December 24, 2013 at 2:41 PM

It is far easier to control the law abiding public then to attempt to control Unions and paid for politicians.

The government loves to convict the innocent while turning a blind eye to whoever $upport$ them the most.

13 Lottie December 24, 2013 at 2:41 PM

It’s 72 degrees today! Who needs a fire anyway?

Just the people who want to get back at the BAAQMD because they have no life.

14 Julio December 24, 2013 at 2:46 PM

If you watch someone suffer with this very still polluted air you would not be talking like you are I assure you. This morning at 7:30 I thought my brother-in-law would die coming in my front door. He will have to stay inside his house in pain unable to breathe until we get some wind again. He never smoked a day in his life.

Do I love a wonderful fire in the fireplace? You bet I do but I am not about to contribute to the agony these folks go through.

Merry Christmas

15 Ted K. December 24, 2013 at 2:48 PM

Friggin a-holes at BAAQMD.

I’m burning. PERIOD…… they can stick their citation in their tailpipe.

16 Tell me Mr Wister December 24, 2013 at 3:26 PM

Whats wrong with telling us who makes the decision on spare the air days?

17 Dennis December 24, 2013 at 3:27 PM

hey burning wood in fireplace is seriously anti-social … and puts about 50,000 time as much pollutant into the air as a cigarette.’

I suggest we limit the fine for smoking a cigarette to 1/50,000 of the fine for a fire in our fireplace … whatever that is.

18 @Mister Wister December 24, 2013 at 3:43 PM

How mature and intelligent of you to post in all of the spare the air threads just to call everybody ignorant trash. Sure makes you look a lot better than those you are trying to insult.

Seriously, get a life.

19 Trucker Bug December 24, 2013 at 4:02 PM

Ok guys n gals. Real simple. Contact dura flame and the manufacturers of energy efficient wood pellet stoves. Convince them that they are losing revenue in purchases due to these no burn days.

If you can convince them it’s worth their time they will hire lobyists to fight against these air regulations.

Otherwise. Get over it.

The reason refineries, shipping tankers and other major polluters get to run on no burn days is because they have deep enough pockets to argue their case. Plain and simple.

What’s morally right or wrong holds no bearing in politics and big business. Stop being naive and acting like you don’t know this.

Merry Xmas.

20 Ted K. December 24, 2013 at 4:29 PM

Burn baby, burn.

21 eric December 24, 2013 at 5:09 PM

@ Dennis – How cute, you must have gotten access to your parents computer? Are you having fun typing while they are out doing last minute shopping and buying you presents? Obviously you are a child or you have trouble with reading and logic (I can’t even imagine what your ideas are that support your statement “burning wood is seriously anti-social”) or you would have read/known that the fine for burning during a burn ban is listed in each and every article alerting readers to a BAAQMD burn ban that posts. First time offenders are given a $100 fine or they have to take a wood smoke awareness class. Repeat offenders are fined $500.

22 Mister Wister December 24, 2013 at 5:28 PM

I’ll “get a life” when you can explain to us all (with the 4 brains you have to your name) how you’re not ignorant worthless trash?

23 Betty Sanchez December 24, 2013 at 5:29 PM

Too late, fire already started and plan to burn well past tomorrow. Sorry BAAQMD hope you loose your jobs next year.

24 Mister Wister December 24, 2013 at 5:31 PM

Why do you care? Do you think you, with your 2nd grade science education, would be more appropriate?

25 Tell me Mr Wister December 24, 2013 at 6:16 PM

Are you a shill for the Air District or just a nut?

26 jack farrell December 24, 2013 at 7:24 PM

i wonder if the person making the decision dines with pge execs??

27 kilo December 24, 2013 at 8:30 PM

Would anyone on here be for signing a petition to start some sort of legislation to make Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Years Eve exempt from ban days?

28 Anonymous December 24, 2013 at 8:30 PM

Mr. Farrell,

We dont know who is having lunch with who. We do know who runs PG and E but the Air District does not deign to tell its subjects who makes decisions.

29 Anonymous December 24, 2013 at 8:37 PM

Pretty sure that Mister Wister is my ex wife. If you read her posts you can see why she is an ex. Nothing but hate in that woman. Got it from her.mama who did two jolts in state prison in Arkansas.Ex was on probation when I last saw her for bad checks.

30 ricardo December 24, 2013 at 9:00 PM

Would like to see if these government decision makers are vetted to confirm they have no PG&E stock or interest.

31 . December 24, 2013 at 9:06 PM

Settle down, wister….

So why not tell us who makes these decisions? Your angry responses tell me plenty about YOU!

@#22….. Most people only have one brain to their name….not 4. Sounds like #18 has a lot more going for him than you’re demonstrating by your attacks!

Everyone posts general comments about the STA days…..but YOU have to personally attack others who disagree with your opinions. Look at #11, 22, 24….. Do you honestly think that anyone will take you seriously with those responses? Not that you care…….

Go tell your mother she wants you, and come out when you decide you can play well with others and can have a conversation like an adult . I sincerely hope that your anger management classes result in some positive action this coming year.

32 NotPC December 24, 2013 at 10:02 PM

@#30 Ricardo – That is a GREAT question. Mr. Mayor, can we have that one answered?

33 Anonymous December 24, 2013 at 10:44 PM

Sorry pal but Mt Wister is my ex wife ,dingy as a wooden watch.Poor thing was as venomous a person as ever hung out in the Safeway parking lot. Lot of meth.

34 Justsayin December 25, 2013 at 1:17 AM

How come kofy TV can have a roaring fire on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day? Why are they exempt from burning on STAD?

35 veteran December 25, 2013 at 7:19 AM

haha we are having a bbq and fire pit in florida! one of the many reasons we moved out of California… you cant do anything there like celebrate Christmas.. how sad… enjoy your police state! and have a wonderful lock-down for new years!… were gonna light off plenty of fireworks too 8-)

36 bigdaddy December 25, 2013 at 8:04 AM

lamont in fairfield can light a smokeless fire

37 keith December 25, 2013 at 10:55 AM

what a joke. They do this every Christmas, Stupid libtards need to get a life.

38 anonmtz December 25, 2013 at 1:38 PM

Welcome to smog city.

Can not see Mt. Diablo from most places in Claycord.

Thank you Libertarian good government haters for purposefully lighting your fires……shows your contempt for your fellow man.

39 Bobfshed December 25, 2013 at 2:02 PM

Smog is not caused by fireplaces.

40 Bobfshed December 25, 2013 at 2:16 PM

11 million cars, 7 oil refiners, 3 airports, diesel trucks and ships gives you the dirty air you see!

41 Connie Dobbs December 25, 2013 at 4:45 PM

How do you think fair-trade coffee beans and artisanal quinoa breakfast scones get to Whole Foods?

42 . December 25, 2013 at 7:53 PM


You missed the point. Who allowed these unelected bureaucrats to implement these laws? They sure as h### don’t represent me, and I never gave the ok for these laws …….right, wrong or indifferent. You want laws that’s fine. But there’s a process for that …

That goes for others defending these bureaucrats. Do you think it’s ok for unelected persons to implement laws without recourse or judicial review?

43 eric December 25, 2013 at 11:52 PM

@ 42 – I didn’t miss the point I am pretty sure you missed my point. I, in no way support the bans or the BAAQMD, I was just pointing out that “Dennis” was unsure of the amount of the fine for burning during a ban yet the Mayor includes that information in every single notification when there is a ban. If he had actually read the article he would have found his answer. By the way, how on earth did you come to the conclusion that I am somone who supports bigger goverment or more bureacracy?? I had to re-read my post to see if I somehow had a brain fart and expressed an opinion of support for the BAAQMD and I am pretty sure that I did not.

44 anon December 26, 2013 at 7:56 AM

You can’t have the “wrong” light bulb, burn wood or get bags at the Whole Paycheck. Thank you hippies for saving me from myself. I’m too stupid to function.

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