A Spare the Air alert has been issued for Saturday, the first of the winter season, due to unhealthy air quality, according to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.
Smoke from increased wood burning during the cold weather is expected to cause the bad air along with light east winds, the sir district said. Also, a high-pressure system over Northern California will act like a lid, trapping smoke at ground level.
The Spare the Air alert bans burning wood, manufactured fire logs or any other solid fuel, both indoors and outdoors, the air district said.
"When air quality is unhealthy, it is important we all do our part to reduce harmful pollution by not burning wood," said Jack Broadbent, executive officer of the air district.
Homes without permanently installed heating, where wood stoves or fireplaces are the only source of heat, are exempted from the ban. Those households must use an EPA-certified or pellet-fueled device that is registered with the air district to qualify for an exemption.
Open-hearth fireplaces no longer qualify for the exemption, the air district said.