Winter Spare the Air Alert Issued for Thursday in the Bay Area

January 1, 2014 19:00 pm · 25 comments


A Bay Area wood-burning ban that continued into the New Year will remain in effect on Thursday, officials from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District said today.

Thursday will be the region’s third consecutive “Winter Spare the Air” day this week, prompted by an ongoing cold, dry weather conditions that trap harmful air pollutants close to the ground, according to the air district.

“Wood smoke continues to be a serious health concern in the Bay Area as this stagnant weather pattern continues,” said Jack Broadbent, the air district’s executive officer.

“Once again we are asking for the public’s continued cooperation to reduce harmful wood smoke pollution to protect the health of all Bay Area residents,” he said.

Indoor and outdoor wood burning of all kinds is prohibited during Winter Spare the Air days, including in fireplaces and wood-burning stoves.

Only homes where wood burning is the only heat source are exempt from the ban.

Bay Area residents can find out the daily burn status at or, by calling (877) 4-NO-BURN or by signing up for Spare the Air iPhone or Android apps.


1 Something To Look Forward To January 1, 2014 at 7:04 PM

One of the long range weather forecast sites says we’ll have an onshore airflow again next Tuesday, WSW at 5 to 10 mph

2 RunnerDope January 1, 2014 at 7:13 PM

Is it Wednesday or Thursday?

3 burn baby January 1, 2014 at 7:30 PM

Of course it is. Who really cares at this point? I have been burning for every night this winter. There hasn’t been anyone from the bay area smoke gang knocking at my door. Out of all the people posting on here not one has said they have been fined.

4 Libertarian January 1, 2014 at 7:55 PM

I was however threatened by David Garrison with a year in jail and five years probation fr questioning the validity of the science.

5 Frank C. January 1, 2014 at 8:11 PM


What’s his phone number/e-mail address? We need to hold them accountable.

6 Not in claycord January 1, 2014 at 9:34 PM

So the poor air quality is projected in the north and south bays everytime. Why do we have to refrain? Because this whole thing is so asinine that they don’t know how to enforce their own rules on just a few in a certain region so they say ALL THE BAY AREA. Completely logical

7 JRConcord January 1, 2014 at 9:46 PM

Would you turn in your neighbors?
Is this the America we are guaranteed by the constitution?
Why are we here?
I am stll smoking ;-)
Is thre a phone number somewhere to someone?Should I call it?
Peace and love

8 Anonymous January 1, 2014 at 10:43 PM

Dear Libertarian,

I didnt believe you
I don’t believe you
I won’t believe you

9 Me January 2, 2014 at 6:24 AM

I called yesterday to complain and they didn’t threaten me. But a white van pulled up and took me away. I spent all last night under bright lights being interrogated by the clean air feds and finally escaped.. Now I am on the run. Tell my wife I love her.

10 JRConcord January 2, 2014 at 7:13 AM

Are you now looking for a one armed man.

11 Me January 2, 2014 at 8:55 AM

Yes I am. But I am held up in a cabin in a spare the air zone and probably shouldn’t be having a fire in the fire place here, a dead give away, but I have my principles.. But I just called them to complain again , and I think they may have me zeroed in. Gotta go..

12 Chevrolet girl January 2, 2014 at 9:37 AM

Why don’t they just call it spare the air season and get it over with.

13 @#12 January 2, 2014 at 10:07 AM

Because they don’t have the guts to make a definitive political move like that. They’ll just slowly erode your rights, so the masses just go along with the program.

14 Anonymous January 2, 2014 at 10:09 AM

Hold on Me. We are dispatching a delegation to assist you. Stay low and extinguish any burning materials. Work on a haiku.

15 claycordian January 2, 2014 at 11:00 AM

I STILL say that we need to start working NOW to defeat Supervisors Gioia and Piepho, which will get them off of the BAAMQD. It has to start locally.

16 Me January 2, 2014 at 11:10 AM

Call Sarah Palin. If anyone can get me out of this, it is her. I call her wonder woman. I’m a Democrat but I may swing vote.

17 I_Wanna_Rat January 2, 2014 at 12:29 PM

So who do you call?

I run in the mornings and some days my eye are watering with the low hanging smoke. No one gets fined. The folks who feel they don’t have to follow laws they disagree with continue to burn and everyone else suffers.

Let’s make it a $250 fine for first offense, $500 for the second and $1000 for each additional. We could easily fund some enforcement positions with those fines.

18 Randy Nylund January 2, 2014 at 1:01 PM

Dear Claycordians:

Does everyone know that your tax dollars in the amount of $1,078,000 per Month (that’s almost thirteen million dollars per year) is paying for these government officials that don’t care if were are cold or not? The head of BAAMQD makes more money than the Governor of California and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. These fat cats are paid too much.

Sign me “Discussed in Claycord”

19 russ January 2, 2014 at 1:42 PM

57 days

20 Policy of Truth January 2, 2014 at 2:38 PM

@ Randy Nylund, aka; Discussed in Claycord,
Actually the government officials are paid between $100.00 to $150.00 per meeting (a stipend), for meetings which are held 2 to 4 times a month. Meetings are held in S.F. and run on an average 3 to 5 hours. So, when you factor in any commute time, your are looking at approximately $20.00 an hour with no other benefits. That’s hardly getting “fat”. I am sure those that read your assumptions would appreciate a clarification of the total budget divided by the total numbers of district employees, which are not government officials. Then again, that would take all the air out of your assertion wouldn’t it?

@ Claycordian,
You wrote; “ I STILL say that we need to start working NOW to defeat Supervisors Gioia and Piepho, which will get them off of the BAAMQD. It has to start locally.”
Your first problem, is that neither Gioia or Piepho are elected from Concord or Clayton, so while you may work to defeat them, you don’t get to vote for or against them. Your second problem would be that only Gioia is currently up for re-election (Piepho was just re-elected). Your third problem is the BAAMQD is only one of many of boards that they each sit on. Their primary job is that of a county supervisor and yet you want to work to defeat them because you don’t like that they sit on a specific board? Brilliant. If you prevailed in your “work” at defeating them, they would simply be replaced by other supervisors who would fill the same slots and responsibilities. Apparently you are unaware of the charter of the BAAMQD. However, your biggest problem is your obvious lack of knowledge about the district’s mandates, operations and rather large board of directors. Are you aware of Gioia and Piepho’s individual voting records on the BAAMQD?
I understand your frustrations but a word to the wise, be careful what you wish for. They may be representing the area, better than you think. By the way, just how many meetings have you attended, watched or witnessed-or were you mainly talking off of the top of your head?
Just what we need….more uninformed voters.

21 Pro Fi January 2, 2014 at 3:22 PM

@ Policy of Truth – Thanks for the insights. I hadn’t considered going back to examine all the issues BAAQMD addresses. I did a quick search and pulled up one of the minutes from a meeting in the Spring of 2013. IMPRESSIVE that they are looking at other issues that contribute to the overall environmental issues facing Bay Area residents. Will be digging in a bit deeper. Hadn’t thought to investigate the Board further. A sincere thank you!

22 Policy of Truth January 2, 2014 at 8:00 PM

@ Pro Fi,

It is I that should be thanking you. I just get sick of following local politics to seek to the truth, only to watch a few people try to tear down those that actually try to make a difference. It’s always the same people who use innuendo as a weapon. What is worse, is that they themselves, are not held accountable. They simple make it up as they go along. It’s pretty easy to forward a false message when you don’t have any morals, responsibility or honesty behind your messages. For instance the ones that post about a tie or relationship between the BAAQMD and PG & E really should have their heads examined. That is tin foil hat wearing material right there.
The latest straw was “Claycordian”, suggesting to throw out local members just because he doesn’t comprehend the mandate of the board itself. I’ll wager he has never attended a meeting, has no idea what they do or how they vote but yet, he/she wants to vote the bums out. Real genius.

No wonder the bar on common sense continues to be lowered. We have individuals that refuse to educate themselves and want to toss others aside because it doesn’t fit their selfish and “made up” opinion.

I for one hope that 2014 brings them a ray of hope and a glimmer of wisdom. They could use it.

23 Anonymous January 2, 2014 at 9:46 PM

Yo Policy of truth.
Well here is a reason to vote the two supervisors out. Two of us sent them well written emails, questioning the proprity of two Board policies, shutting down the whole district and failing to change a no burn day when weather changes.No tin foil comments, no allegations of plots.

Neither of us received a reply. Nothing, Nada. True I can’t vote for them, but I can send money to their competition, which I will do.

In addition if you read Nylunds post he talked about Officials,which you conveniently took to mean elected folks. He was clearly talking about the head Honcho, who makes $22,141 a month. Thats more then we pay the Vice President of the United States. Bother you? Maybe not, but it bothers me.

24 Policy of Truth January 3, 2014 at 12:26 AM

Yo anonymous,

Call me curious, but may I ask when you sent your emails? Could it have been during this holiday break while the board is in recess or what many of us call holidays? Christmas/New Year break? I have it on reliable authority that both supervisors respond to all received email so It’s puzzling why you haven’t received a response. Perhaps if you were more specific about where and when you emailed each of them it could be verified. It’s not that I don’t believe you, but by being “anonymous” it’s hard to verify your story. You see, I have no problem calling either of them directly or dropping into one of their district offices. Those numbers are published and readily accessible. You should try it.

Oh and while you are at it, who is their “competition” that you are referring to. Giola is up for re-election so who are you making that check out to? Piepho was unopposed in her last race and her term isn’t up until 2017. You don’t appear to know how they vote on the BAAQMD or if they have any say in spare the air days. Remember this is a State mandated program that they must administer (by State law). I doubt if you know how they perform as County Supervisors, but yet you are willing to fund an anonymous, unnamed opponent? What a plan! That’s real intelligent.

Sorry to inform you but it is customary to refer to a elected as a public or government official. This is the case when you are referring to a board-member such as the BAAQMD. Many people have incorrectly referred to “staff” as board members-they are not. Everyone, including the “head honcho” works at the discretion of the Board of Directors and is an “employee”. What you seem to be back to comparing is staff salaries to that of elected officials to employees, this time that of the Vice President. If you are seriously asking if it bothers me, it doesn’t. In most cases (City, County, State and Federal) staff/employees makes much more than the elected official(s). Why shouldn’t they? Really, Anonymous, that’s the way it works. You might want to start there an learn the structure. Then we can move onto why an employee who is classified manager, oversees a district and other employees, has a pay scale in relationship to his/her responsibilities. Fair enough?

25 Pro Fi January 3, 2014 at 1:40 AM

Yo Anonymous – Maybe you could share your letters with the community. I would be interested in seeing how you framed your argument.

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