SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — The Bay Area Air Quality Management District has issued the winter season’s first Spare the Air Alert for Black Friday. The alert, for Friday, Nov. 25, effectively bans burning wood, manufactured fire logs or other solid fuel, indoors or outdoors, according to a statement released by BAAQMD.

Unhealthy air quality is possible due to smoke from increased wood burning combined with light winds and low temperatures expected for Friday. The release goes on to say that high pressure buildup over Northern California could act like a lid, trapping the smoke at ground level. Air pollution from the Central Valley could also be transported to the Bay Area by offshore winds.

“Smoke from residential wood burning is expected to reach unhealthy levels this holiday weekend,” Interim Executive Officer of the Air District, Sharon Landers said. “Residents can help protect the respiratory health of their families and communities by refraining from wood burning — the number one source of wintertime air pollution in the Bay Area.”

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During a Spare the Air Alert, Bay Area residents are not permitted to use the following:

  • Fireplaces
  • Wood stoves
  • Pellet stoves
  • Outdoor fire pits
  • Other wood-burning devices

There are exemptions available for homes without permanently installed heating where wood burning stoves or fireplaces are the only source of heat. Qualifying for the exemption requires a pellet-fueled device that’s registered with the Air Quality District. Open-hearth fireplaces no longer qualify, according to the BAAQMD.