A wood-burning ban in the Bay Area has been issued for the eighth-straight day. A "Winter Spare the Air" alert has been issued for Sunday.
The Bay Area Air Quality Management District issued the alert - its 12th since the district's Winter Spare the Air season began Nov. 1 - because of an ongoing cold weather pattern that is trapping pollution close to the ground.
On Winter Spare the Air days, wood burning is banned both indoors and outdoors, with exemptions for homes where wood burning is the sole heat source, according to the air district.
Wood smoke is the major source of air pollution in the Bay Area during the winter and is especially harmful to children, the elderly and those with respiratory conditions, district officials said.
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First-time violators of the ban can take a wood smoke awareness class or pay a $100 ticket. Subsequent violations will result in increasing fines.
"This has been a challenging week for air quality with a high pressure system in place that has not allowed fine particulate pollution to disperse," said Jack Broadbent, executive officer of the Air District. "We are asking for the public's continued cooperation to protect the health of Bay Area residents and reduce pollution from wood burning."
The daily burn status in the Bay Area can be found online at www.baaqmd.gov or www.sparetheair.org, by calling (877) 4-NO-BURN or by signing up for Spare the Air iPhone or Android apps.
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