Winter Spare the Air Alert issued for Sunday

A Winter Spare the Air alert has been issued for Sunday.

Bay Area residents and businesses are not allowed to burn wood throughout the day whether they are indoors or outdoors, Bay Area Air Quality Management District officials said.

The alert comes after recent storms in the region have resulted in light winds and cool weather conditions, which made way for air pollution to build up.

“We were fortunate to have a weather system move through the region over the holidays. Unfortunately, stagnant weather conditions have returned, requiring us not to burn wood to prevent unhealthy air,” Jack Broadbent, air district executive officer, said in a statement.

The alert is the fifth so far this season since the Winter Spare the Air alert season started on Nov. 1.

Homes that only have woodstoves or fireplaces as a source for heat are exempt from the ban, according to air district officials.

Wood smoke consists of fine particles and carcinogenic substances that are a major source of air pollution in the Bay Area.

The smoke can be especially harmful to children, the elderly and those suffering from respiratory conditions, district officials said.

People found in violation of the ban will be required to take a wood smoke awareness class instead of paying a $100 ticket. Those who violate the ban a second time will be fined $500 and subsequent violations will be fined higher amounts..

Those looking for more information on the daily status of wood burning may visit www.baaqmd.gov or www.sparetheair.org.

The public can also call (877) 4-NO-BURN or use the Spare the Air app available for iPhone or Android devices.

People can also sign up for “Air Alerts” online at www.sparetheair.org or by phone at (800) 430-1515.

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