It's chilly outside, and you want to light up your fireplace. But not so fast. Bay Area Air Quality officials are urging people to think of their pets before lighting up.
Advocates say the smoke produced by burning wood is just as harmful as second hand smoke. It could harm cats, dogs and even horses. One veterinarian says more than 10 percent of her cat patients have asthma which could be aggravated by the fumes and other particles.
During a Spare the Air warning, owners are being asked to keep their pets indoors when air quality is predicted to exceed Federal health standards for humans. And it's also illegal to burn wood during the day, but there are some exceptions to the rule.
So far this winter season, there have been 15 Spare the Air alerts for the entire Bay Area.