267 Tickets Issued in the Bay Area During Winter Spare the Air Season

March 7, 2014 11:00 am · 35 comments

The 2013-2014 Winter Spare the Air Season, which ended Feb. 28, tied a record set in 2006-2007 for the most Spare the Air alerts issued, Bay Area Air Quality Management District officials confirmed today.

The season’s long stretch of warm weather blocked winds and storms that would have helped dispel air pollution, triggering multiple Spare the Air alerts, officials said. The use of wood-burning stoves and fireplaces is prohibited on Spare the Air days.

“This dry winter brought with it an unprecedented stretch of bad air quality and no-burn days,” said Jack Broadbent, the air district’s executive officer.

The air district received a total of 5,091 wood smoke complaints from residents and issued 267 tickets to residents observed to be in violation of the ban on wood burning, officials said.

For the first time this year, those found to be in violation were given the option of completing an online or written wood smoke awareness class rather than paying a $100 ticket. A second violation carries a fine of $500.

So far 136 Bay Area residents have chosen to take the test, but that number is expected to rise, officials said.

a March 7, 2014 at 11:04 AM

Makes me sick that people are narking their neighbors for this BS. Catch a clue people. Stop doing the gestapo’s dirty work for them.

First they came for the…
Then they came for the…
Then they came for me.

You know how the story goes.

dinkydau March 7, 2014 at 11:07 AM

Where were most of the citations issued? Wonder where a lot of the citations were issued??

Jill March 7, 2014 at 11:12 AM

Can anyone take the class? I’d like to take it just for the education. And if so, where can I find it?

Good job March 7, 2014 at 11:17 AM

Despite the morons that don’t get it I hope
they do now. Local police should be able to
issue these citations.

When considering the number March 7, 2014 at 11:23 AM

of people under the hob nailed boot of this pork barrel agency, the number if infractions is very small.

Of the 5000 complaints, I’ll bet more than a few are from unhappy neighbors and have little or anything to do with violations.

People cited can take a class? Now that’s funny.

Anon March 7, 2014 at 11:26 AM

Take a an on-line class–SURE that will really hurt them a lot
They will never do it again
No teeth in a law–no respect

Ted K., SuperMax March 7, 2014 at 11:33 AM


b March 7, 2014 at 11:46 AM

It’s the smokers complaining because of nosy neighbors complaining about cigarettes. Pay back is a “B”. HA!

CL8TN March 7, 2014 at 12:09 PM

I’d rather them give citations for BARKING DOGS!!!
My neighbors dogs bark ALL DAY! I have mentioned it to them nicely, because we have been friends for a along time and the wife got irritated with me for mentioning it to her. I was polite in my delivery. Anyways, it fell on deaf ears.

The fat rat March 7, 2014 at 12:16 PM

Yeah I ratted you out!!

Stop polluting the air! Take the extra time to cre about the environment and stop being so selfish.

Incognito March 7, 2014 at 12:23 PM

267 tickets issued.
Last I knew, we are innocent until proven guilty. So how did BAAQMD prove they were guilty in order to issue a ticket?

And, I am with you CL8TN #9 with regard to dogs who bark constantly. Clearly, your wife does not want the same “quality of life” as you do so she is willing to tolerate obnoxious dog barking. I would suggest calling Animal Control, like I do, however, it takes an act of God and your entire neighborhood pretty much to also call to get anything resolved. Barking dogs have more rights than you do.

Anonymous March 7, 2014 at 12:27 PM

Couple of things.
First Lord Broadbents minions dont issue citations, they file civil suits.

Secondly, they wont change their ban even if conditions change, such as the day we had high wind warnings on the Benicia Bridge, and 20 mph winds in Concord.

just a concordian March 7, 2014 at 12:45 PM

Why are there so many whining babies in this site? my neighbor smokes, their dog barks, daylight savings sucks, crime is rampant, bla bla bla bla bla

Anon March 7, 2014 at 12:53 PM

BAAQMD is useless waste of taxpayer money.

MikeyV March 7, 2014 at 1:15 PM

OK, so 267 tickets, at $100 a piece, that’s $26,700. Anyone care to guess how much it cost taxpayers to pay all the people that work for BAAQMD, or even just the losers that went around to write the tickets?

A hellova lot more than $27K, I can tell you that.

Doomed, I say, DOOMED!

jtkatec March 7, 2014 at 1:25 PM

Well, those penalties justified someone’s salary.

old concord March 7, 2014 at 1:48 PM

I have to agree with #1 . We need to become free people again. Stop government’s heavy hand on the people . More American’s die here in America from police killings an Americans in Iraq . You want to stop the violence really ?

tired of taxes March 7, 2014 at 1:56 PM

Would love to hear from those who got tickets; especially if they contested them or took the class. Please share your experience with the Claycord community.

b March 7, 2014 at 2:48 PM

You all know this spare the air is not a Bay Area thing. Nation wide and meteorologist make the recommendation based on forecast (why puzzling at times, weather forecast often wrong but no burn remains in affect) and then county officials make the call. In my travels to various states during Winter, encountered many places no burn days. Same disgruntled feed back. Don’t blame BAAQMD, hardly alone or a conspiracy. They could however step outside on any given day and see for themselves enough Wind or Rain to have fires.

I wonder... March 7, 2014 at 2:53 PM

… if that represents 5,091 snitches, or fewer people snitching multiple times.

I wouldn’t even open the door if they showed up at my house. Let them try to prove I wasn’t cooking.

sam March 7, 2014 at 5:16 PM

With the ever increasing rise, in the global, human population, so shall the ever increasing rise in global polltion indexes; rules, regulations, laws and the strict enforcement of same is of dire importance, without which a civilized society could never survive, we would live in a world of complete and unabaited bedlam, anarchy; rules are instituted in every facet of our socity, be it rules in your home, work, out on the streets, rules, laws and their enforcement are necessary, to protect us from each other, even outselves; it is the perception of a rebellious, self centered child, that views rules, laws, a restriction, a punishmet for which they take a personal slight.

TinFoiler March 7, 2014 at 6:23 PM

Be sure to taddle on your neighbors if you suspect that they might have a…………………………………………….(( G U N )) – Remember, it starts with small things and builds up. Maybe you’ll call because you feel that your neighbor has too many lights on in their house!!!
You morons. Notice nobody gives a F about a stupid barking dog and its STUPID owner. Well, I guess somebody does – Look what happened to the barking dog in Clayton.

DISCLAIMER: I in No way advocating killing anyone’s pets – But Obviously this Neighbor was driven to the point of Postal because somebody thought barking ALL Day and ALL Night was Pleasurable.

Question March 7, 2014 at 6:38 PM

Why is Feb.28th the magical day our air quality will get better?Just wondering.

RunDogRun March 7, 2014 at 6:58 PM

My neighbors dog used to bark at me
whenever I went into the backyard to
work in the yard. It was driving me crazy
and it wouldn’t stop if I came back inside …
it would continue barking for hours. One
day it started barking and the owner was
home. I heard her yell, “Max, NO!” He knew
how to stop barking on request, but with
nobody around to tell him to stop he would
just keep barking. From that day on, whenever
the dog started barking at me I said, “Max, NO!”
and he would stop barking immediately. I had
tried everthing else, calling them and leaving
messages, threatening to call animal control,
although I never would. But, just saying the
dogs name and a loud “NO!” worked for me.
You might try it.

Silva March 7, 2014 at 7:22 PM

@Tinfoiler #22, What happened to the barking dog in Clayton?

Vindex March 7, 2014 at 7:56 PM


BAAQMD = Jack Booted Thugs March 7, 2014 at 8:17 PM

What happens when the Unelected mouth breathers at BAAQMD decide they don’t like your religion people?

Thats right …..Concentration camps here in the Bay Area. It’s a slippery slope people wake up.

TinFoiler March 7, 2014 at 8:21 PM

#25, A sleepless neighbor couldn’t handle it any longer and threw a special meatball over the fence – dog gone.

Safety Second March 8, 2014 at 8:17 AM

Gee, Are those irrelevant do-gooder bureaucrats at BAAQMD responsible for saving us on those Spare the Air Days? If so, how did they dispose of that dirty air? Shame on you busy body cowards who snitch your neighbors-off to this Gestapo-like organization.

Anonymous March 8, 2014 at 11:13 AM

#25: A couple of other details….dog died a horrendous death due to the poison used, neighbor charged with animal cruelty (and rightfully so).

slagheap March 9, 2014 at 10:37 AM

good, too bad a few hundred more weren’t cited, because there are a lot of violators still flaunting this perfectly sensible law. it’s all about public health & safety, like getting vaccinated.

slagheap March 9, 2014 at 10:58 AM

btw, ” mayor, ” start a thread on barking dogs, why doncha’? i was once sorely tempted to take things into my own hands over a neighbor’s dog’s perpetually insane neurotic barking. the neighbors were quasi-literate, low-IQ, semi-morons, didn’t deserve to have an animal. anyway, i got transferred, so nothing ever happened.

sam March 9, 2014 at 12:21 PM

regarding a barking dog: please remember, even though the dog is the primary object of your frustration, it is the dog owner who is to blame, they are the ones, not the dog, who should be held responsible and accountable; please do not be “short sighted”, in frustration, (emotionally) lashing out at the animal, “instead”, this is the operative word, ie, use your brain, its (power of intellect), mount a viable, legal case against the owner, then sue the hell out of them; a barking dog, misbehaving animal is no more to blame than an incessantly crying or misbehaving child; we do not bring harm to them, we analytically scrutinize the underlying causes of the issue, then we take rememdial steps to rehabilitate them; what is that catch phrase of the “dog whisperer”… “I rehabillitate the animal, I train people”.. something to that effect.

Debi G March 11, 2014 at 12:25 PM

I was told that if your woodburner was your only souce of heat that u wouldn’t get a ticket ?

Glen March 11, 2014 at 1:43 PM

The morons who don’t get it not only don’t get it, they don’t care. I believe in second chances, but if you fine them first time around, maybe it will wake them up.

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