Spare the Air alert sets ban over the use of fireplaces and any other wood-burning devices on Saturday in the Bay Area, California.
Residents of the Bay Area won’t be allowed to burn any kind of solid fuels in their fireplaces, outdoor fire pits, wood stoves, pallet stoves or any other kind of device they might use to burn wood-like products. All these devices are polluting the winter air which might affect people with weak immunity such as babies and elderly.
The winter pollution caused mainly by the smoke created from burning wood might cause serious conditions like lung disease, bronchitis, asthma and other related illnesses.
Through the Spare the Air alert authorities have advised residents of the Bay Area to make pollution-free choices in their daily lives to help reduce the winter air pollution. Some of the most important choices people can make are related to reducing the use of personal cars. This includes taking the bus, working from home or even riding the bike to get around town or for going to work. If you are not willing or are unable to do any of these, the least you can do is carpooling if you are going in the same direction as other members of your family or your community.
Besides reducing the car use, you can also help keeping the air clean by not using gas-powered lawn mowers; by avoiding aerosol use, including sprays; by avoiding lighter fluid when you turn on the barbecue and generally by using as less energy as possible around the house.
The season of Spare the Air begun on November 1 and will end by the end of February.
Residents who are not complying to the Spare the Air regulations can face high fines if they are caught. Those who are caught on the act for the first time will be able to choose between a $100 fine and taking an exam on the topic of the dangers of wood smoke on human health.
People who are violating the rules for the second time will receive a $500 fine, which was increased compared to last year when it was only $400. Those who repeat the offense more than two times will face higher fines.
Today’s alert covers Southwestern Solano, Southern Sonoma, Santa Clara, San Mateo, San Francisco, Napa, Marin, Contra Costa and Alameda counties.
The only exemption is made for the homes in which the only source of heating is an EPA-certified wood-burning device which is registered in the district’s air registration program.
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