Winter Spare the Air Alert Issued for Saturday – 30th this Season

January 24, 2014 16:28 pm · 29 comments


The Bay Area Air Quality Management District today issued a wood-burning ban for Saturday, the 30th such ban in the region during the air district’s winter season.

The district’s Winter Spare the Air alert bans the burning of wood indoors or outdoors because of a high-pressure weather system that has caused the buildup of air pollution to unhealthy levels.

The 30th alert since Nov. 1 ties the record set in 2006-07. The Winter Spare the Air season lasts until Feb. 28.

“Air pollution has been a serious problem during this dry, stagnant winter and it’s important that residents refrain from burning wood to protect public health in their neighborhoods, communities and throughout the region,” BAAQMD executive officer Jack Broadbent said in a statement.

Homes that rely on wood burning as their only source of heat are exempt from the ban.

Violators will have to take a wood smoke awareness class or pay a $100 fine, with higher fines for subsequent violations, according to the air district.

The daily burn status can be found online at or by calling 877-4-NO-BURN.

Welcome to Kalifornia January 24, 2014 at 4:33 PM

Insanity defined.

seriously... January 24, 2014 at 4:48 PM

Awesome, I love having to rely on pg&e for warmth and pay for it; instead of doing what we have been for the last x-thousand years…Yet we have freight tankers to deliver consumer goods to America that dump more crap in the air than all the wood fires in California. Congratulations USA, you are a great babysitter…Gotta make sure that we don’t hurt ourselves or our environment…BS

the other jj January 24, 2014 at 4:52 PM

burn on

Steve January 24, 2014 at 5:05 PM

@ Seriously—–2

What the hell are you talking about? It’s in the 70’s!

Original G January 24, 2014 at 5:21 PM

Free Heat, if you’re a do it your-selfer you can build one of these.
This guy used downspouts.
111.6 F output from solar heater at 10:30am

These use soda cans.

Yeah, whatever... January 24, 2014 at 5:36 PM

Nobody even pays attention to these anymore. I guess that’s what happens when there are so many of them. Take note, BAAQMD.

claycordian January 24, 2014 at 5:48 PM

Lord Broadbent needs to get a real job that is truly befitting him as the waste of skin that he is. Maybe cleaning up all the dog crap that people leave behind while walking their dogs……..

Lopi January 24, 2014 at 5:55 PM

So what is illegal to do in the summer when there is a spare the air day?


Lay off the meth January 24, 2014 at 5:55 PM

A bunch of Claycordians honestly believe the BAAQMD controls the weather… go to rehab, you idiots, we don’t need to deal with your paranoid delusions…

Original G January 24, 2014 at 6:02 PM

First video of 4 on soda can heater, shows a guy wearing a glove using a drill press. VERY BAD IDEA.

. . . January 24, 2014 at 6:08 PM

Mayor of SF is pushing for 30,000 more housing units in SF. Just what Bay Area needs more people.

Bob Brittain January 24, 2014 at 6:17 PM

I was walking down a street this afternoon looking at the haze between me and Mt. Diablo and smelling wood smoke. The temperature was above 70F. Anti-science Luddites are creating more sub-micron particulate haze while people with breathing problems continue to suffer.

Anonymous January 24, 2014 at 6:23 PM

Lord Broadbent hath spoken.
Verliy he is a worthy
Makes more the the Honorable Vice President
These United States.

Burners are ignorant January 24, 2014 at 6:28 PM

When you can’t see Mt Diablo from Concord and you continue to burn you firewood you are just ignorant if not selfish as well. Sure there are other factors that contribute to our current air quality problem but does that mean we shouldn’t try to control some part of it? Want to see something worse, ride a bike up Mt. Diablo or go to any other hill top and see what you see from up there. Here is a clue, you won’t see much.

Bike riders are ignorant January 24, 2014 at 6:55 PM

@14.Enough said.P.S.ride in the bike lane if provided.I will continue to burn in my EPA certified insert.

Mister Wister January 24, 2014 at 7:00 PM

It’s not meth; it’s that most of them have substandard educations while the rest were just born stupid.

Lopi January 24, 2014 at 7:05 PM

These Spare The Air days are a product of people burning natural gas, using electricity, burning gasoline, refineries to support this activities, airports…
The cause is not from people heating ther homes with wood.

Kathryn January 24, 2014 at 9:13 PM

My neighbors burn almost every night. Hasn’t it been warm lately?

They walk their dogs with hoodies in 70 degree weather. They’re both well educated and work in the Financial District in SF.

Even on really cool nights, they can easily afford to heat their spacious home. It’s not their kids, they don’t have any.

They don’t talk to anybody but my husband. Whatever!

anon January 24, 2014 at 9:24 PM

@#6 You got that right.

Marcus January 24, 2014 at 9:45 PM

@ Yeah, whatever…..6

Good, decent people will abide by the rules. That’s all they can hope for.

Selfish, inconsiderate, uneducated people aren’t going to comply, regardless.

Only you know which category you fall into.

Anonymous January 25, 2014 at 6:10 AM

Dear Marcus

Well , there goes Ghandi and Martin Luther King.
The people should always do as instructed.

@Marcus January 25, 2014 at 7:25 AM

I’ve lived in my house a little over three years and have burned in my fireplace twice during that time. Both times were a Duraflame log and the last time was two years ago, so I doubt my fireplace is contributing to anybody’s discomfort.

But my lack of burning has nothing to do with BAAQMD or their rules, so I guess I don’t fall into either category.

@Marcus. 20 January 25, 2014 at 7:41 AM

Ignorance is bliss……. And you’re the ignorant one. I grew up in LA in the 60-70’s. You have no idea how crisp, clean and healthy Bay Area Air is. The BAAQMD are Nazis. I’ve dealt with them. They’re crazy. This whole deal is bunk. It’s like Al Gore flying around the world to save us from ourselves and global warming while leaving an immeasurably gargantuan carbon footprint.

So much for your edumacation. Odds are you went to government schools ?

Don't be January 25, 2014 at 8:17 AM

So negative. Lord Broadbent has allowed occasional fires.

CW January 25, 2014 at 12:26 PM

When I was stuck in traffic the other day behind a tractor-trailer belching disgusting plumes of diesel exhaust, the radio announced yet another STAA. How about the government make a serious effort to clean up all the dirty trucks on our roads rather than banning individual citizens from having a wood fire in their homes?

@CW January 25, 2014 at 4:23 PM

Really ? The govt. has all but killed the modern truck with smog check b.s. Now, you have to smog a diesel pickup ! They burn cleaner than gas cars btw.

The commercial diesels now heave new additive requirements and are stricter than ever ! And NOT cheap !

Like what you got today. Any more Desaulnier / libtard laws and we risk losing it all.

@CW January 25, 2014 at 6:05 PM

Yeah lets blame the trucks that haul your groceries,and gasoline for your car so you can help pollute the air.Do some research before you comment.

Lopi January 25, 2014 at 7:03 PM

Wood fires to heat homes results in less than 10% of winter time Pm2.5 in the Bay Area. 99% comes from sources other thn wood rise to heat homes.
A few people heat their homes with wood. Everyone else uses petroleum or petroleum products. Not renewable and pollution producing in large amounts.

CW January 25, 2014 at 8:04 PM

If today’s tractor-trailers are supposedly so “clean”, then why are they still belching copious amounts of black gunk into the air?

BTW, I drive a hybrid and if gas prices went up because commercial trucks have to pollute less, I’d just pony up for the plug-in conversion (the conversion costs about $3k so at today’s gas prices it isn’t worth doing but higher gas prices would make the break-even point come a lot sooner).

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