Winter Spare the Air Season’s First Three Alerts Issued for Friday, Saturday, Sunday

December 7, 2017 19:00 pm · 28 comments

The Winter Spare the Air season’s first three alerts were announced today for Friday through Sunday, Bay Area Air Quality Management District officials said.

The alert means residents are prohibited by law from burning wood, manufactured fire logs or other solid fuel either indoors or outdoors through midnight Sunday.

Air district officials said air quality is expected to be unhealthy because of weather conditions, which are expected to trap pollution close to the ground.

The pollution is especially harmful to children, the elderly, and people with respiratory conditions. Exposure to wood smoke, like cigarette smoke, has been linked to a higher risk of heart attacks, according to the air district.

During the alert, residents and visitors are prohibited from using fireplaces, woodstoves, pellet stoves, outdoor fire pits and any other wood-burning devices.

Exemptions exist for people whose only source of heat is a woodstove or fireplace, but people must use a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-certified or pellet-fueled device that is registered with the air district.

No longer does an open-hearth fireplace qualify for an exemption. Violators have an option of taking a wood smoke awareness class or pay a $100 ticket the first time they violate the rule.

A second violation results in a $500 fine and fines are higher for subsequent violations.

Air district officials said Bay Area residents and visitors must check to see whether a Spare the Air alert has been issued during the Winter Spare the Air Season, which runs from Nov. 1 through Feb. 28.

Several ways are available to check including text alerts, websites, a toll-free phone number and phone alerts.

Fidget December 7, 2017 at 8:02 PM

Well I’ll tell ya, I’m using my fireplace all 3 of those nights and nobody is gonna tell me otherwise.

KenInConcord December 7, 2017 at 8:04 PM

How long till they decide no fires from November till March.

sideline December 7, 2017 at 8:27 PM

…but it is ok for the refineries to pollute.

WC resident December 7, 2017 at 10:33 PM

The refineries burn liquids and gases. Spare the air only prohibits the burning of solids.

Fred P. December 8, 2017 at 7:31 AM

Guess I can burn all of that used oil I’ve been saving up….

chuckie the troll December 7, 2017 at 9:06 PM

Thank God! I was dying to use the BBQ and now there are no more excuses. I’m thinking Fish on Friday, Game Hens on Saturday, Lamb Loin Chops on Sunday, Pork Chops on Monday…

Hey, a Troll has to eat!

Dr. Jellyfinger December 7, 2017 at 11:12 PM

Rotisserie for the little chickens?

Safety Second December 7, 2017 at 10:39 PM

So the NorCal fires produced the highest levels of air pollution in Bay Area history. My question…was it the BAAQMD and its multi million dollar budget that eliminated all that dirty air in just 3 days?!?! Liberals believe it was, but then liberalism is a Godless mental disorder…

Ricardo December 7, 2017 at 10:52 PM

Three days of the volcano in Indonesia wipes out all of the fireplace Nazis work for the year.

Fidget December 7, 2017 at 11:10 PM

@ The Cynic

Ummm we don’t use our fireplace to heat the room, we use it for the nice smell and look as my wife says it’s just nice to have a fire going.

Fidget December 7, 2017 at 11:52 PM

No federal, state or local govt agency is going to tell me when I can or can’t have a fire in my fireplace. I just had a cord of firewood delivered and it’s gonna burn all winter.
Ca is over-regulated on so many things I choose what to do and not to do in pretty much everything. BAAQMD and CARB are tops in a long list of ignore agencies. All our vehicles are registered up a Tahoe to get away from smog checks as well.

OverWhelmed December 8, 2017 at 5:33 AM

This agency is saying that it is a law. I don’t think so. They are not a government agency and therefore they can not make laws. Therefore any fine they may mete out is not legitimate.

TIFOKCIS December 8, 2017 at 6:14 AM

Violate the rule?


You don’t rule me you left wing hack.

Cornfed December 8, 2017 at 7:20 AM

I’m declaring California a sanctuary state for tax-paying fireplace burners.

Jack Frost December 8, 2017 at 7:40 AM

Can I still roast my chestnuts on an open fire?

Kirkwood December 8, 2017 at 10:10 AM

As long as you don’t start nipping at my nose. Yuletide carols being sung by the choir are ok.

Kirkwood December 8, 2017 at 10:37 AM

♪ ♪ ♫ ♫ ♫ ♪ Chipmunks roasting on an open fire.

Fred P. December 8, 2017 at 9:08 AM

Gotta catch me first…..

It's Me December 8, 2017 at 11:09 AM

7.6 million people in the Bay Area. 5.4 million cars. Not counting commercial, government and of course police, the biggest polluters who sit for hours at a time with the engine running. Not counting ships that come and go, ferries, and tug boats. Not counting planes either, from 3 airports.

Really? Wood burning? WOW!

Mel December 8, 2017 at 12:09 PM

It is all those dang commenters from the far east county coming into central county or beyond. They buy their cheap houses out there and cause so much traffic for the rest of us that are just trying to drive a mile away from home. All of my residential streets are over polluted with these people trying to find alternate ways home, but what they are actually doing is making life miserable for people who live close to work or need to get things done close to home.

Jojo Potato December 8, 2017 at 11:36 AM

So you’all feel real great that you can burn in your fireplace? Like that makes you proud and strong? Pathetic losers. Why don’t you come up with an important cause and pursue it? Like eliminating the mufflers on your motorcycles or squeeling your tires at stop lights or blacking out the windows on your lifted trucks. Or watching Smokey and the Bandit for the hundreth time. Does it really make you feel important to smell up the air? Pathetic!

Mel December 8, 2017 at 12:10 PM

I hate the smoke smell. It is gross, and all these people are doing is wrecking their lungs.

Just me December 8, 2017 at 12:55 PM

Does this mean, that anyone that smokes tobacco in any form, or that smokes pot or any kind of drugs, will be prohibited from doing so? If I catch anyone smoking, should I report them?

Daniel December 8, 2017 at 1:11 PM

We need to eliminate CARB and BAAQMD.

To hell with these ‘spare the air days’.

Newellian December 8, 2017 at 3:08 PM

One way to eliminate these agencies would be to not re-elected the idiot politicians to sit on them. DRIP them! (Don’t Return Incumbent Politicians)!

Fidget December 8, 2017 at 4:23 PM

There are many ways to skin a cat, you only need to know one of them. These agencies don’t dictate over me at all, I just cheat around them.

Atticus Thraxx December 8, 2017 at 4:46 PM

And you need a cat Fidget.

Original G December 10, 2017 at 5:04 PM

And Monday

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