Winter Spare the Air Alerts Issued for Wednesday, Thursday in the Bay Area

December 12, 2017 19:00 pm · 30 comments

The Bay Area Air Quality Management has issued Winter Spare the Air Alerts banning the burning of wood, manufactured fire logs or any other solid fuels indoors or outdoors on both Wednesday and Thursday, the sixth and
seventh consecutive days the alerts have been issued.

High barometric pressure is expected to keep hazy skies and dry, calm weather in the Bay Area, causing pollution to build up throughout the region.

Smoke from the wildfires in Southern California is not a factor, however, since it’s currently offshore and moving out of the area, driven by northerly winds.

During Spare the Air Alerts, it’s illegal for Bay Area residents to use fireplaces, wood stoves or even outdoor fire pits. There are exemptions for homes where fireplaces and wood stoves are the only form of heat installed, but only if they’re using a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-certified wood burning device that’s been registered with the district.

First-time violators will be subject to a $100 fine, but they can also opt into a wood smoke awareness class. The second violation leads to a $500 fine and subsequent fines become more substantial.

KenInConcord December 12, 2017 at 7:08 PM

spare the Air….. 2017 thru 2018

Just say we all know you want to!!!!

Fidget December 12, 2017 at 7:29 PM

And here we go again!

This is not commie Russia, US citizens cannot and will not be told they cannot have fires in their homes. What the he## is the matter with people in the Bay area putting up with this crap?
BAAMQD needs to be investigated for abusing their so called powers.

Kevin McClure December 13, 2017 at 12:22 PM

Good luck on that one… You live in California. Not America…

Fidget December 12, 2017 at 9:13 PM

How do I post a picture in this topic of my big ol seasoned oak fire blazing away in the fireplace.
I just took dog for a walk and I’d say looking at all the homes in our ct all 16 have a fire going judging from the smell and funny stuff called smoke billowing out the chimneys.

Potato Head December 12, 2017 at 10:27 PM

Smoke awareness class? How about a pollution awareness class for diesel truck owners. I read the emission standard for large trucks is 0.06 grams of PM 2.5 per brake horsepower per hour. So, a large diesel truck with a 300-brake-horsepower is allowed to spew 180 grams of lung-clogging poison per hour around the Bay Area, but my EPA-certified clean wood stove, which discharges 3 grams per hour is restricted? Cut me slack, Air Nazis: I’m burning and you can talk to my lawyer if you even try to cite me for violating your bogus, biased regulation.

Pac islander December 12, 2017 at 11:03 PM

Apparently you need a license to live now.
I’m just having undocumented house warming.

Mel December 13, 2017 at 12:21 PM

Love it 🙂

Badge1104 December 14, 2017 at 7:51 AM

I love it too: “undocumented housewarming” !

Elvis December 12, 2017 at 11:26 PM

If I am not mistaken, Los Angeles has banned the use of fireplaces altogether. Probably couldn’t get anybody to cooperate with their Spare The Air days.

Potato Head December 13, 2017 at 5:35 AM

Fireplaces spew the small particles that clog lungs unrestricted. You see them fouling the air with billowing plumes of foul stench. They don’t really heat a house because most of the energy goes up the chimney. They also usually take more heat from the house because of the air drafting (from inside to outside). I have never advocated a person’s right to be a complete selfish jerk and cause health problems for people with asthma or other lung ailments; there is a need to protect them. What’s unfair is that the Air Nazis have put the entire winter burden on those of us who have followed the letter of their regulations (use an EPA certified clean burning wood stove that is highly efficient at converting wood to heat – mine is about 92 percent; maintain the stove in top operating order; and burn only seasoned, dry, untreated wood). As I said above, I release about 3 grams of particulate per hour and only need to burn for 3 hours a day to keep my home (and my tropical birds) comfortable at 72 degrees. That’s 9 grams a day, while each large diesel truck is releasing far greater amounts, yet they are not required to stop making deliveries. I see a pattern of injustice here.

TIFOKCIS December 13, 2017 at 6:37 AM

I have no Sanctuary Status, no fires or killing women in SF for me.

anon December 13, 2017 at 7:41 AM


Sam December 13, 2017 at 7:02 AM

Wonder if BAAQM and PGE get together for coffee.

WC December 13, 2017 at 8:07 AM

They whipped everyone to a frenzy about it, that’s for sure. Stupid agency, stupid warning. If it’s so bad the airports, ports should be closed and only essential vehicles should be on the road.

Don’t pay any fines, as they are not legit.

Simonpure December 13, 2017 at 8:10 AM

Actually Potato…the smart ones use a fireplace insert which blows the heat into the house. Used to have one. It was great.

Potato Head December 13, 2017 at 10:45 PM

My stove has a blower that I use to warm the house. I agree – it
is fantastic and the best thing? I gather my own oak, buy a little bit of almond, and tell PG&E to stuff it!

Madness December 13, 2017 at 8:27 AM

“wood smoke awareness class” I’d like the weak-bodied ninnies to take a “stay inside so others can enjoy their freedom” class every time they complain about others.

WC resident December 13, 2017 at 8:34 AM

All of this spared air is getting stale.

Fred P. December 13, 2017 at 10:09 AM

Under what authority can they fine someone?

Mel December 13, 2017 at 12:22 PM


Burning Man December 13, 2017 at 5:29 PM

The fines are issued by the State of California, franchise tax board department of special taxes and fees. Make no mistake, you cannot ignore the fine. They can put a lien on your property. Or attach your wages. There are “ways” to get out of the fine though.

Newellian December 13, 2017 at 2:41 PM

Once again, an attempt by Lord Broadbent to be relevant. There is a wind blowing today, Lord Bonehead! Take your slimy self back to your hole in the ground…

Stop Complaining December 13, 2017 at 2:55 PM

How about everyone stop their complaining?… If you don’t like spare the air days or don’t agree with it, them MOVE! Leave the Bay Area! Go spread your narrow minded ignorance somewhere else. The rest of us here want clean air. And to answer the question proposed by ‘Curious’, yes we will still have spare the air days WHEN they ban fireplaces. Along with restricting wood burning, its supposed to encourages people NOT TO DRIVE and take public transportation. Bottom line – we don’t want to end up like Los Angeles, or even worse – Beijing.

Hypocrite December 13, 2017 at 4:00 PM

Stop complaining… about others complaints! Air issues are not the primary issue. BAAQMD is a poster-child example – such a ripe, odiferous example of nanny government run amok. Zero credibility and questionable authority.

Original G December 13, 2017 at 4:08 PM
Original G December 13, 2017 at 4:01 PM

Appears the low number on range for a Winter Spare the Air Alert is 101.
An for the last two days East of the Bay Hills has been below that threshold. BUT if any of the Nine Bay Area Counties is over, all Nine Counties are under a STA.

Sustained winds from the West maybe next Thursday 12/21.,37.740,-122.206,7,a:CCqGU

Buck December 13, 2017 at 4:23 PM

Wonder how many spare the air days we would have if PG&E sold firewood?Just sayin’.

Bob Foo December 13, 2017 at 11:29 PM

I mean, it’s not even winter yet…

TOB December 14, 2017 at 10:37 AM

Have a real fireplace converted to gas with ceramic logs. Love it! Cheaper (never have to buy logs or carry or stack), push button instant fire and ambience with hood exhaust that redirects the heat in. Can have a fire any day.

Those who say the hell with it and burn anyways. Well don’t complain about any smokers second hand smoke with such disregard to others health and blaming others. Refineries filter, cigarette filters, most sources do but wood burning does not filter so larger particulate matter is released and causes respiratory issues to kids, elderly and those with asthma. Far more than other sources being tossed out. All about the size or particulate released in the air and need to control it. Maybe someone should invent a fireplace filter (not to be confused with a spark arrester).

Burning Man December 14, 2017 at 4:46 PM

I guess that’s fine if you want to be a slave to the utility company. There’s also something to be said for free heat and being self sufficient. I use a wood stove, get cut tree rounds for free, split them, season and stack. My gas bill is zero dollars. I actually don’t even have a gas account with PGE. To each their own though. I can understand being able to flip a switch and have a fire. It’s just not for me.

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