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Winter Spare the Air Alert Continues in Bay Area Through Sunday, Wood-Burning Banned

Sunday's Winter Spare the Air day is the 29th of the season.

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    The smoggy San Jose skyline, resulting from the dry winter weather. - Jan. 18, 2014.

    Saturday's Bay Area-wide wood-burning ban will remain in effect on Sunday, Bay Area Air Quality Management District officials announced Saturday.

    Sunday will be the 29th Winter Spare the Air day of the season, with Bay Area residents once again prohibited from lighting up fireplaces, bonfires, wood-burning stoves or other wood-burning sources.

    Air district officials say a dry, stagnant weather system that has settled over the Bay Area will cause air pollution to rise to unhealthy levels on Sunday.

    21 "Spare the Air" Days So Far This Season

    [BAY] 21 "Spare the Air" Days So Far This Season
    Bay Area residents are being asked to watch the air quality again on Friday as a series of "Winter Spare the Air" alerts issued by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District continues. Sam Brock reports. (Published Friday, Dec. 27, 2013)

    During still, dry winter weather, harmful pollution from wood smoke stays trapped closer to the ground where people are more likely to be exposed to it, according to the air district.

    "We appreciate the patience and cooperation of Bay Area residents in putting the health of their community first and not burning wood," said Jack Broadbent, executive officer of the air district.

    Burning wood during a Winter Spare the Air day is illegal except in homes where wood burning is the sole heat source.

    First-time violators of the ban are given the option of taking a wood smoke awareness class or paying a $100 fine. Second and third-time violators will be required to pay $500 or more.

    20 Spare the Air Days So Far This Season

    [BAY] 20 Spare the Air Days So Far This Season
    Bay Area Air Quality District issued a Spare the Air Day on Friday for the fifth day in a row and the 20th day this season. This is the highest number of "Spare the Air" days during the November-to-February season since 2006, when there were 30. Marianne Favro reports (Published Friday, Dec. 27, 2013)

    The public is asked to check the daily burn status before burning wood during the Winter Spare the Air season, which runs from Nov. 1 to Feb. 28. The burn status can be found online at www.baaqmd.gov or www.sparetheair.org, by calling (877) 4-NO-BURN or via Spare the Air iPhone
    and Android apps.