Friday has been declared a Winter Spare the Air day, meaning it will be illegal for Bay Area residents to burn wood indoors or outdoors.
Wednesday and Thursday of this week were also designated as Spare the Air days and were the first two of the Winter Spare the Air season, which runs from Nov. 1 to Feb. 29. There were four Spare the Air days total during the last winter season.
“Winter air pollution is mainly caused by particulates or soot pollution from wood smoke. Smoke from wood-burning fires is linked to illnesses such as asthma, bronchitis and lung disease, and is especially harmful for children and the elderly,” reads an alert sent out by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, which established the Spare the Air program in 1991.
The alerts are issued by the air district when the concentration of particulate matter in the air could violate state and national health standards.
Soumya Karlamangla is the city news editor.