Fifth straight Spare the Air alert issued for Tuesday | News | Palo Alto Online |

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Fifth straight Spare the Air alert issued for Tuesday

Weather conditions are 'causing unhealthy air pollution to build up'

A fifth consecutive Winter Spare the Air Alert has been issued by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District for Tuesday because of continued dry and calm weather conditions that are creating unhealthy air quality in the region.

The burning of wood, manufactured fire logs or any other type of solid fuel indoors or outdoors is prohibited on Winter Spare the Air days, according to the air district.

The weather conditions are creating a temperature inversion that "acts like a lid, causing unhealthy air pollution to build up," air district officials said.

Wood smoke is the largest source of air pollution in the Bay Area during the winter and can be especially harmful to children, the elderly and those with respiratory conditions, according to the air district.

Exemptions are available for residents that do not have permanently installed heating and use woodstoves or fireplaces as their only source of heat.

First-time violators can take a wood smoke awareness class in lieu of paying a $100 ticket, while subsequent violations will result in fines of $500 or higher, air district officials said.

People can find out whether a Winter Spare the Air Alert has been issued by texting "START" to 817-57, visiting www.sparetheair.org, calling (877) 4-NO-BURN (66-2876), signing up for phone alerts at (800) 430-1515 or downloading Spare the Air iPhone and Android apps.

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