SAN FRANCISCO -- The Bay Area Air Quality Management District is banning the burning of wood and other solid fuel for Tuesday in the region via a Spare the Air alert.
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Smoke from increased wood burning around the Bay Area is expected to combine with light winds and low temperatures overnight to create unhealthy pollution levels.
On Spare the Air days, people in the nine-county Bay Area are not allowed to burn wood, manufactured fire logs or any other solid fuels, although there are exemptions for housing without permanently installed heating where fireplaces or wood stoves are the only source of heat, according to the air district.
First-time violators can take a wood smoke awareness course or pay a $100 fine, while subsequent violations are subject to higher fine amounts.
The air district says exposure to wood smoke can be linked to serious respiratory or cardiac problems and is especially harmful for children and older people.
People concerned about wood smoke pollution can call (877) 4NO-BURN or visit www.baaqmd.gov to file a complaint or get more information.
People can find out when an alert is in effect by registering for emails at www.sparetheair.org, calling (800) HELP-AIR, downloading the Spare the Air app or connecting with Spare the Air on social media.
People can find out when a Spare the Air alert is in effect by registering for the alerts here, calling 1(800) HELP-AIR, downloading the Spare the Air smartphone app or connecting with Spare the Air on social media.
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What are Spare the Air days?
Air quality in the Bay Area can be unhealthy at times throughout the year.
Spare the Air Alerts are called when ozone pollution is forecast to reach unhealthy levels. Ozone, or smog, can cause throat irritation, congestion, chest pain, trigger asthma, inflame the lining of the lungs and worsen bronchitis and emphysema. Long-term exposure to ozone can reduce lung function. Ozone pollution is particularly harmful to young children, seniors and those with respiratory and heart conditions.
When a Spare the Air Alert is called, outdoor exercise should be done only in the early morning hours when ozone concentrations are lower. Residents are encouraged to reduce air pollution every day by rethinking their commute and avoiding driving alone.
Find out more about what the Air District is doing to address climate change in the nine-county Bay Area. Spare the Air-Cool the Climate is a blueprint for tackling regional air pollution and climate pollutants while improving the health of Bay Area residents for the next several decades. Check out the Bay Area Air Quality Management District's video about their vision on climate change:
On Spare the Air days or nights, there is no free transit.
Here's a list of simple things the public can do to make clean air choices every day:
The Spare the Air smog season runs from May through October. The Winter Spare the Air season runs from November through February.
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