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Record 6th-Straight Air Alert Friday in Bay Area – Fires Banned

It's still chilly and we still can't have fires in the fireplace in the Bay Area because the low temperatures are trapping unhealthy levels of pollution in the air, according to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.

No smoke-causing fires are allowed in the Bay Area during Spare the Air Alerts issued by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. Photo credit: blondieb38, Morguefile.com
No smoke-causing fires are allowed in the Bay Area during Spare the Air Alerts issued by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. Photo credit: blondieb38, Morguefile.com
By David Mills

Another Winter Spare the Air alert has been issued, this one for Friday.

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District made the announcement on Thursday afternoon, saying the prolonged cold weather is trapping pollutants close the ground and causing unhealthy air.

“Unfortunately, with the weather system that has been in place for the past week, wood smoke pollution in the Bay Area continues to sit over the region,” said Jack Broadbent, executive officer of the air district. “The current weather trend is preventing the built-up air pollution from clearing out in the Bay Area."

It will be a record sixth day in a row that an alert has been in effect.

The Friday alert prohibits Bay Area residents from burning wood, manufactured fire logs or any other solid fuel both indoors and outdoors for 24 hours. Those with no other source of heat are exempt.

"Wood burning produces about one-third of the particulate pollution on a typical winter night," according to the air district.

First-time violators of the ban are given the option of taking a wood smoke awareness class or paying a $100 fine. Second violations result in a $500 fine and the penalties rise with each violation after that.

It's the 10th Spare the Air alert ordered this winter.

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