Seventh Straight Winter Spare the Air Alert Issued for Sunday

December 28, 2013 20:00 pm · 43 comments


For the seventh time this week and the 22nd time this winter, Bay Area residents will be banned from burning wood on Sunday.

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District issued the “Winter Spare the Air” alert for Sunday – prohibiting residents both indoor and outdoor burning of wood, logs or other solid fuels. Homes where wood burning is the only heat source are exempt from the ban.

The ongoing ban is prompted by a prolonged dry weather pattern that is “allowing air pollution to reach unhealthy levels” throughout the Bay Area, air district executive officer Jack Broadbent said.

“Wood burning in these conditions elevates the levels of particulate pollution in our neighborhoods and communities, making it unhealthy for everyone to breathe,” he said.

Wood smoke is the Bay Area’s main source of winter air pollution and can be especially harmful to children, the elderly and those with respiratory conditions, according to air district officials.

First-time violators must pay a $100 fine or take a wood smoke awareness class. Additional violations are subject to a fine of $500 or more.

Bay Area residents may check the daily burn status by calling (877) 4-NO-BURN or by visiting the district’s website at

© 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 concord resident December 28, 2013 at 8:03 PM

It’s time for an armed revolt against this fascism…. if we don’t stand up for the Constitution and G-d’s Will we have nobody to blame but ourselves…

2 NRA #1 fan and member December 28, 2013 at 8:14 PM

I haven’t had any problems and I’m burning wood 7 days a week

3 anonmtz December 28, 2013 at 8:29 PM

YAWN !!!!!!!!……..

4 WC Boy December 28, 2013 at 8:43 PM

does this apply to meth users and smokers as well?

5 Ian December 28, 2013 at 8:44 PM

Heard there was a shooting on Cowell… Anything?

6 Policy of Truth December 28, 2013 at 8:45 PM

Concord Resident,

You know it is a felony to threaten an elected offical(s) right?

I understand you are frustrated but that isn’t very smart. You might want to dial it back a bit.

7 Burnin December 28, 2013 at 9:04 PM

The BAAQMD should go to the Oakland Coliseum tomorrow and tell the thousands of folks there at the football game not to BBQ, it is a Spare The Air Day!

8 fulubulu December 28, 2013 at 9:34 PM


9 concord resident December 28, 2013 at 9:35 PM

“you know it is a felony to threaten an elected offical(s) right”

These are UNELECTED officials and im not threatening them, i’m well within my first amendment G-d given RIGHT to advocate for armed revolution against our COMMUNIST GOVERNMENT

10 fulubulu December 28, 2013 at 9:39 PM

Hey Policy of Truth
It was illegal for the Bostonians to dump the cheap tea in the harbor too.

11 TinFoiler December 28, 2013 at 9:41 PM

Nobody is going to do ANYTHING. When they anal probe you, your wife and then your children you still won’t do anything. Agenda 21, But I’m the effin’ weirdo!
Wake Up! And turn off your TV then educate yourself, it’s Not a Sin.
The rest of you, enjoy the fema camp – I won’t be offering any truth to any of you if I’m there, if you won’t listen now, you won’t listen when you’re at a fema “freedom” camp, you’ll still be in Denial.

12 Gruey Scrambuey December 28, 2013 at 9:43 PM

It says wood smoke, so propane and coals o.k.? Some folks are year round BBQ’ ers.

13 . December 28, 2013 at 9:50 PM


So we’ll deal with the “appointed” officials……

That being said, the elected officials are in office only because the voters are too stupid to think for themselves.

14 cent December 28, 2013 at 10:08 PM

My PG&E bill was $240 last month.(family of five) It was not good, but it
was not as bad as I thought. How was everyone’s ?

15 @concord resident December 28, 2013 at 10:12 PM

Next time you’re at DMV take a look, they have signs that spell out the criminal penalties for threatening a DMV employee. Although from my experience only about 65% comprehend English and I only speak one language.

16 still anon December 28, 2013 at 10:24 PM

My PG&E jumped $25.00 dollars this month. I have an insert approved fireplace and burn on all non spare the air days. On spare the air days I rarely have the heater on for about 3 hours.

17 Fascist Regime Vigilante December 28, 2013 at 10:32 PM

Call David Garrison at BAAQMD. He will threaten to have you thrown in jail for a year and five years probation simply for questioning the validity of calling a STA day on Christmas.

18 Burnin December 28, 2013 at 10:47 PM

You can BBQ, drive, burn tires or do anything else you want that pollutes. It is only against the law to heat your home with wood. That is why the air is so bad.

19 KenInConcord December 28, 2013 at 10:53 PM

Just wondering how they can prove what your burning? They can’t come in without a search warrant. I’m not going to tell them anything, do I still have my 5th admendment rights?

I repeat what I have said before. All this crap started as free bridge tolls, free Bart rides, buses! As soon as we all said sure that’s fun. All the good stuff stopped and the power hungry unelected assholes started knocking on doors and handing out fines. Turning neighbors against eachother.

20 Bobfshed December 28, 2013 at 10:58 PM

90% of the pollution in the air comes from sources other than wood burning fireplaces. That is why this STA program is such a failure. The BAAQMD and the media are responsible for this and they should be ashamed of themselves.

21 scooter December 28, 2013 at 11:57 PM scares me to know such wackos who post these crazy comments live so close by….

22 Jess December 29, 2013 at 12:19 AM

Concord Resident #9, the BAAQMD Board members are all elected officials.

23 Elysium December 29, 2013 at 2:09 AM

Look at the no smoking policy in WC – rat out your fellow man.
Look at the BAAQM rules for StA days – rat out your fellow man.

Notice a trend? Nazi Germany is here and they are disguising these “laws” as “beneficial to the majority” when in reality, they have no proven studies to back up these laws.

24 Chevrolet girl December 29, 2013 at 7:36 AM

So for the past seventeen days we were not supposed to burn wood and the air is still bad! I guess their STA days are not working. Like I said before BAAQMD I’d toasty warm with their pockets lined from PG&E and they are out of control!

25 Incognito December 29, 2013 at 8:45 AM

Elysium #25 is right.
How many millions live in the Bay Area?
BAAQMD is not canvasing the neighborhoods every day.

26 Burnin December 29, 2013 at 9:58 AM

When the winter spare the air program started the BAAQMD said 33% of PM2.5 was from wood smoke. They said their program had reduced wood smoke by 25%. That gives us 25% from wood smoke? Now we have to subtract out wood smoke from restaurants, brush fires, controlled burns, structural fires, forest fires and smoke from wood used in BBQ’s.
You probably do not want to believe this but wood smoke from heating homes is maybe 10% but probably less.

27 the other jj December 29, 2013 at 10:11 AM

THANK YOU NEIGHBORS,, for not ratting on me when I burn wood that I worked hard for to collect and burn when its cold because I would like to save some money on my pg+e bill???

28 Too much power December 29, 2013 at 10:29 AM

Has criteria changed or something? Why on a breezy day are we still not “allowed” to have a fire? This is ridiculous.

And I’m trying to see who elected them? As far as I can tell the board is elected from those on the committee. That’s not the same as being elected like congress is elected. But how do you get on the committee? I don’t remember voting for baamqd (doesn’t mean I didn’t but…).

29 Too much power December 29, 2013 at 10:36 AM

Ok, so it’s made up of ppl we elect as supervisors, then they are appointed to the board. Just more proof that elections have consequences!

30 Facts December 29, 2013 at 11:11 AM

At last more of you out there are starting to catch on. Winds today, tonight and tomorrow are at least 5mph ALL over this so called district. That’s right from Santa Rosa to San Jose. Go on the National Weather Service site and check it out.

Go back up and read the warning/alert.
“Wood burning elevates levels of pollution” Everything you do does this.
“Wood smoke is the main source of the Bay Areas air pollution” Well guess what? How many no burn days now this month? 20, 21 Now 7 days in a row and the air is still bad! Now you tell me how come the air quality is still unhealthy and nobody is burning. Maybe just maybe this is a personal agenda for someone on that Board and from what I can tell HE is NOT and elected official anywhere.

One of the spokesman has stated that they (the district) tickets 200 people per burn day. But according to the information posted earlier under the Freedom of Information Act during the first 20 day no burn string there were just under 2000 complaints and only 90 ticketed. So much for 200 a day! Must be that “new math”.

Remember Jacks two famous statements: “I will be glad when these public hearings are over and we can pass this law and outlaw wood burning” and from the Chevron fire: “there is no particulate matter released from the fire” then to “our sensors did not detect any particulate matter from the fire” Remember this was a large smoke cloud that went up hundreds of feet and miles down wind. Maybe their sensors were on “break” that day or they do not have ANY around refineries.

Think about it people. This is just the start from them.

31 Jack Broadbent = Nazi? December 29, 2013 at 11:37 AM

What happens when Jack Broadbent decides he doesn’t like your religion?

32 Incognito December 29, 2013 at 12:20 PM

It says on “spare the air day” it’s a no wood burn day… so what if you burn your garbage in your wood stove like I see some people do? I guess that’s okay? And, the reason I know it’s garbage is because this is what smokes and smells. Those of us who burn seasoned, dry wood, know well enough the fire burns clean and no smoke.

33 anonymous December 29, 2013 at 12:41 PM

7 mph wind blowing nicely through Concord. Another bad weather call from the District.

34 . December 29, 2013 at 1:16 PM

Going to have to go out and check all frost protection on plants before dark wind has already uncovered two of them.

35 anonymous December 29, 2013 at 1:37 PM

A couple of posters have inquired who is in charge of the Board. The CC county folks are:

1. John Goia Supervisor
2 Mary Piepho Supervisor
3. Mark Ross- Vice Mayor, Martinez
4. David Hudson- San Ramon City Council..

You might try dropping them an email and asking why the entire District is shut down if one area is forecast to be high, with no consideration of wind direction and ,why they wont rescind a ban once its put in place, even if conditions change, like today.

With the exception of Hudson I sent them all emails and received…. Nothing.

These are important people and can not be bothered .

36 anonymous December 29, 2013 at 3:07 PM

Dear #37.

I already emailed them, too and got nada, zero, no answer. Thats OK they run for reelection and have townhall meetings. I plan to be there.

37 Skippy December 29, 2013 at 3:07 PM

I’m all for individual freedom, but God’s will that we burn wood, really? Get a grip people. If this issue bugs you that much, lobby your legislators and stop this policy or get a ballot initiative going.

38 Officer Barbrady December 29, 2013 at 5:24 PM

Burning OK tomorrow

39 @38 December 29, 2013 at 6:30 PM

That’s because they think you’re a nut.

40 anonymous December 29, 2013 at 7:37 PM

Actually I think I presented a pretty good case for some modification of their rules.

41 The Mamba December 30, 2013 at 10:34 AM

7 straight? Whoops. I wonder what the year over year increase has been the last couple of years for Spare the Air days?

42 Happynewyear! December 30, 2013 at 11:05 AM

My bff’s 49 yr. old hubby died recently from asthma, so I don’t complain about these no-wood burning days. These air quality folks must do this for good reason!

43 Burnin December 30, 2013 at 12:15 PM

This out today because of the dry conditions. You can burn all you want as long as you have a permit! Almost all of the PM 2.5 from wood fires does not come from heating homes with wood! Burn ban just started today?

“State fire officials have issued a ban on all open burning in parts of the East Bay and South Bay due to dry conditions and increased fire danger.

The burn ban, which starts today, covers Contra Costa, Alameda, Santa Clara, San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties, as well as portions of Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

The counties covered by the ban are experiencing record-breaking low rainfall, low humidity, dry fuel moisture levels and increased fire activity, according to Cal Fire Division Chief Rich Sampson.

Special permits will be required for agriculture, land management, fire training and other industrial-type burning, and camp fires are allowed in designated campgrounds or in designated facilities on private property.”

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