As the 23rd Winter Spare the Air Alert is announced on Tuesday, 3rd February, Burning wood in the Bay Area will be illegal.
The Bay Area Quality Management District made the initiative of Spare the Air program in a bid to educate the people regarding the effects of air pollution. The program calls for residents to take actions actively, which in aid in improving the air quality in the area.
Burning of solid fuel, wood, and manufactured fire logs is illegal both outdoors and indoors for one day.
Although an alert wasn’t issued on Monday, the agency requested the public to avoid burning wood as air pollution is much more than anticipated. Wood burning was not illegal on 2nd Feb but was discouraged.
“It’s Groundhog Day and unfortunately we haven’t seen any change in our weather,” said Jack Broadbent, executive officer of the Air District. “Once again we are calling an alert tomorrow and we’re also asking the public to voluntarily refrain from burning today to help us avoid wood smoke build-up in our neighborhoods.”
The alert means that businesses and residents in the area will not be able to use fireplaces, pellet stoves, outdoor fire pits, wood stoves, or any other wood-burning devices during the alert period.
The agency says that there are around 1.4 million fireplaces in the Bay Area and smoke from burning wood is the largest contributor during the winter months in favor of air pollution.
People who burn wood against the rules will be subjected to a fine. People who commit the crime for the first time will have to pay 100$ minimum. They also have an alternative of taking up a wood smoke awareness class in lieu of the fine. Breaking this law many times will result in fines starting at 500$.