SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — A Spare the Air Alert has been extended by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District for Thursday, Dec. 22 through Monday, Dec. 26. During that time, the burning of wood, manufactured fire logs or other solid fuel is banned both indoors and outdoors.

“Like cigarette or wildfire smoke, wood smoke contains carcinogenic substances, such as particulate matter and carbon monoxide, which are harmful when inhaled,” a press release from BAAQMD district read in part. “Exposure to wood smoke has been linked to serious respiratory illnesses and increased risk of heart attacks. The fine particulate pollution in wood smoke is especially harmful for children, the elderly and those with respiratory conditions.”

According to the BAAQMD, fine particulate pollution from wood smoke can cause health impacts that include asthma attacks and respiratory illness.

“Unfortunately, weather conditions are leading to significant smoke pollution buildup throughout the region that is expected to cause unhealthy air quality through the Christmas holiday,” said Sharon Landers, interim executive officer of the Air District. “It’s vital that we refrain from wood burning to reduce air pollution so all Bay Area residents can enjoy a healthier, happier holiday weekend.”

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During a Spare the Air Alert, it is illegal for Bay Area residents and businesses to use their:

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

There are available exemptions for homes without permanently installed heating or where wood stoves or fireplaces are the only source of heat. Homes or businesses where wood-burning devices are the sole source of heat must use EPA-certified or pellet-fueled devices that are registered with the Air District to quality for exemption.