A third consecutive Spare the Air alert has been issued for the Bay Area.

24-hour alert bans wood burning in Bay Area residences

Bay Area residents will be prohibited Monday from burning wood, manufactured fire logs or any other solid fuel both indoors and outdoors for 24 hours, due to a Winter Spare the Air Alert issued by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.

The first Spare the Air Alert of the season has been called due to a cold, still-weather pattern that has allowed air pollution to rise to a level that is expected to be unhealthy in the region, according to the air district. Air-quality regulators note that like cigarette smoke, wood smoke contains fine particles and carcinogenic substances that are extremely harmful to breathe.

“In the wintertime, wood smoke is a hazard to public health in the Bay Area,” said Jack Broadbent, executive officer of the air district. “It’s the ‘other secondhand smoke’ with many of the same hazards as cigarette smoke.”

It is illegal for residents and businesses to use their fireplaces, wood stoves, pellet stoves, outdoor fire pits or any other wood-burning devices.

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