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Spare The Air Alert Issued For Fourth Consecutive Day

A ban on wood burning has been ordered for Saturday by Bay Area air quality officials

Spare The Air Alert Issued For Fourth Consecutive Day

Now make it four in a row.

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District has issued a Spare the Air alert for Saturday.

It's the fourth straight day a wood burning prohibition will be in effect. It's also the seventh air quality alert issued since Jan. 1.

The alerts have been triggered by the high pressure system that has dominated the West Coast in the past week. The cold overnight temperatures and light winds are trapping wood smoke pollution near the ground.

The National Weather Service forecast shows the weather pattern will continue until at least Tuesday with highs in the East Bay in the low 60s and overnight temperatures dipping to about 40 degrees.

"Another day of cold, stagnant weather means another day of unhealthy air quality,” said Jack Broadbent, executive officer of the air district. "Wood smoke is the other second-hand smoke and Bay Area residents need to do their part to protect their families and neighbors by not lighting up their fireplaces and wood stoves."

It is illegal for Bay Area residents and businesses to use their fireplaces, woodstoves, pellet stoves, outdoor fire pits or any other wood-burning devices during a Winter Spare the Air Alert. Homes without permanently installed heating, where woodstoves or fireplaces are the only source of heat, are exempt.

Starting this winter, first-time violators will be given the option to take a wood smoke awareness class, online or by mail, to learn about the hazards of wood smoke pollution in lieu of paying a penalty. Second violations will result in a $500 ticket and subsequent ticket amounts will be higher.

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