Spare the Air alerts issued for Wednesday, Thursday | News | Palo Alto Online |


Spare the Air alerts issued for Wednesday, Thursday

Public banned from burning solid fuels to avoid contributing to unhealthy air quality

The Bay Area Air Quality Management has issued Winter Spare the Air Alerts banning the burning of wood, manufactured fire logs or any other solid fuels indoors or outdoors on both Wednesday and Thursday, the sixth and seventh consecutive days the alerts have been issued.

High barometric pressure is expected to keep hazy skies and dry, calm weather in the Bay Area, causing pollution to build up throughout the region.

Smoke from the wildfires in southern California is not a factor, however, since it's currently offshore and moving out of the area, driven by northerly winds.

During Spare the Air Alerts, it's illegal for Bay Area residents to use fireplaces, wood stoves or even outdoor fire pits. There are exemptions for homes where fireplaces and wood stoves are the only form of heat installed, but only if they're using a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-certified wood burning device that's been registered with the district.

First-time violators will be subject to a $100 fine, but they can also opt into a wood smoke awareness class. The second violation leads to a $500 fine and subsequent fines become more substantial.


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10 people like this
Posted by parent
a resident of Downtown North
on Dec 12, 2017 at 3:50 pm

This is a public health issue, especially near public schools. According to the Spare The Air website, violators should be reported. "You may also call 1-877-4NO-BURN (1-877-466-2876) to check the Winter Spare the Air Alert status and to report wood smoke complaints."

6 people like this
Posted by burning down the house
a resident of Palo Alto Orchards
on Dec 12, 2017 at 4:03 pm

Please, for the sake of those with asthma (especially children,) cease wood burning. Even those up on Skyline - it all flows down hill...

2 people like this
Posted by taxpayer
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 13, 2017 at 1:20 pm

...and yet, gardeners city-wide can run their 2-stroke leafblowers with tacit permission from the city.

3 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Dec 13, 2017 at 6:02 pm

We now have quite a few large tour buses traveling through our neighborhood and "Professorville". Some are older charter buses which appear to have been painted over all white or black, with tinted windows. I was in back of one of them on Sunday afternoon, and it was belching out dirty fumes (diesel?), while stopped at the light on Waverly and Embarcadero. These buses also park in our neighborhoods and idle for long periods of time while tourists(?) walk around.

Aside from me parking my car and getting out and talking to the driver, what can I do?
I thought diesel buses had to be retro-fitted with some kind of filter nowadays?
These buses often drive around both Stanford and Foothill campuses too.
I guess this is never going to end.

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