For the seventh time this week and the 22nd time this winter, Bay
Area residents will be banned from burning wood on Sunday.
The Bay Area Air Quality Management District issued the "Winter
Spare the Air" alert for Sunday - prohibiting residents both indoor and
outdoor burning of wood, logs or other solid fuels. Homes where wood burning
is the only heat source are exempt from the ban.
The ongoing ban is prompted by a prolonged dry weather pattern
that is "allowing air pollution to reach unhealthy levels" throughout the Bay
Area, air district executive officer Jack Broadbent said.
"Wood burning in these conditions elevates the levels of
particulate pollution in our neighborhoods and communities, making it
unhealthy for everyone to breathe," he said.
Wood smoke is the Bay Area's main source of winter air pollution
and can be especially harmful to children, the elderly and those with
respiratory conditions, according to air district officials.
First-time violators must pay a $100 fine or take a wood smoke
awareness class. Additional violations are subject to a fine of $500 or more.
Bay Area residents may check the daily burn status by calling
(877) 4-NO-BURN or by visiting the district's website at www.sparetheair.org.