Wood Burn Ban Continued To Friday

Bay Area air quality officials ask public to "Spare the Air" again.

No roasting chestnuts on an open fire... not yet.

Another Winter Spare the Air alert has been issued for Friday.

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District made the announcement on Thursday afternoon, saying the prolonged cold weather is trapping pollutants close the ground and causing unhealthy air.

It will be a record sixth day in a row that an alert has been in effect.

The alert prohibits Bay Area residents from burning wood, manufactured fire logs or any other solid fuel both indoors and outdoors for 24 hours.

First-time violators of the ban are given the option of taking a wood smoke awareness class or paying a $100 fine. Second violations result in a $500 fine and the penalties rise with each violation after that.

Interestingly, the owner of the flaming warehouse in Concord that sent toxic fumes into East Bay on Wednesday will not be fined for violating the burn ban, according to Ralph Borrmann, BAAQMD spokesperson. The fire happened in a building that doesn't have an air district permit, Borrmann said. 

"Normally if a facility has a certain amount of emissions they need to get a permit from the air district to operate the business," he explained.  "This business is not regulated for air quality," he told Patch. 

Friday's Spare the Air alert is the tenth one ordered this winter.

David Mills contributed to this report. 


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