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The original item was published from 12/20/2011 4:43:00 PM to 12/20/2011 4:44:28 PM.

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Environmental Programs

Posted on: December 21, 2011

[ARCHIVED] Winter Spare the Air Alert Issued

A Winter Spare the Air Alert has been issued in the Bay Area.

Wood burning is banned both indoors and outdoors on Wednesday, December 21, for the full 24 hours.

Air quality in the Bay Area is forecast to be unhealthy. It is illegal for Bay Area residents to burn wood or other solid fuels in fireplaces, wood stoves and inserts, pellet stoves, outdoor fire-pits, or other wood-burning devices. This wood-burning ban will be in effect for Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, southern Sonoma and southwestern Solano Counties.

Winter air pollution is mainly caused by particulates or soot pollution from wood smoke. Smoke from wood-burning fires is linked to illnesses such as asthma, bronchitis and lung disease, and is especially harmful for children and the elderly.

For more information about the Wood Burning Rule, or to check before you burn, visit or call 1-877-4NO-BURN.

You can also call 1-800-430-1515 and register to receive automatic phone calls when a Winter Spare the Air Alert has been called. Visit the Apple App Store to download FREE Spare the Air iPhone application for alert notifications, local air quality forecasts, podcasts and several tools to help reduce air pollution!

To see the current air quality forecast visit

Thank you for doing your part to Spare the Air!

Spare the Air Website