Bay Area “Spare The Air” Program Hits Christmas Once Again

by on December 25, 2013

in consumer

Spare the Air, Bay Area

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District strikes again on the holidays, putting out bans on holiday family-time fireplace use.

Yep, The Air Quality Management District has once again sent out a legal damper to quality holiday time with family around the fireplace by having announced no-burn days on Christmas Eve and Christmas.

I used to think that this “Spare the Air” program was an automated system that distributed the air quality warning alerts. But then I found out that a human reads the data and makes a judgement call on when to distribute an alert.

That’s when I started getting upset about the days they announce as “no burn” days.

An article over on NBC Bay Area made note of how often they predict bad air quality days and how often they’re wrong.

And it’s bad enough that they’re calling no-burn days on the biggest family holiday dates of the year, but there are other curmudgeons out there that actually call the Air District and rat on their neighbors. It’s bad enough that they like lobbing fairly sizable fines at folks. But they don’t have a huge staff and they distribute the warnings over the internet and via email, if you’re subscribed. So how can you even know about a warning? Supposedly they issue warnings first

Talk about foul neighbors!

If anything, there should be one or two days of the year that are exempt from the human punching the button, that being the biggest family holidays of the year.

It’s inhumane to call no-burn days on Christmas. And I’m betting that they’ll call New Year’s Eve & day also as a no-burn day!


Here’s my latest alert, in case you were curious:


A Winter Spare the Air Alert has been issued for Wednesday, December 25, in the Bay Area.

Wood burning is banned both indoors and outdoors on Wednesday, for the full 24 hours.

Air quality in the Bay Area is forecast to be unhealthy. It is illegal for Bay Area residents to burn wood or other solid fuels in fireplaces, wood stoves and inserts, pellet stoves, outdoor fire-pits, or other wood-burning devices. This wood-burning ban will be in effect for Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, southern Sonoma and southwestern Solano Counties. (Visit to see if your city is located within the Air District.)

Winter air pollution is mainly caused by particulates or soot pollution from wood smoke. Smoke from wood-burning fires is linked to illnesses such as asthma, bronchitis and lung disease, and is especially harmful for children and the elderly.

For more information about the Wood Burning Rule, or to check before you burn, visit or call 1-877-4NO-BURN.

You can also call 1-800-430-1515 and register to receive automatic phone calls when a Winter Spare the Air Alert has been called.

To see the current air quality forecast visit

Download our FREE Spare the Air iPhone/Android application for alert notifications, local air quality forecasts, podcasts and several tools to help reduce air pollution.

Thank you for doing your part to Spare the Air!

This AirAlert is provided by your Bay Area Air Quality Management District.


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