California Air District regulators have issued a “Spare the Air” Alert to be effective on Thursday for the Bay Area residents, which means that gathering around the fireplace on this Thanksgiving Day won’t be possible anymore. According to the alert, burning wood, pellets, firelogs and other solid fuels in fireplace, woodstove or other wood-burning device has become illegal for the day. The violators will have to pay fines up to $500.
The order is the result of the depleted air quality in the Bay Area, which is exhibiting high concentrations of pollutants and ozone. As per the official “Spare the Air” website, the “Spare the Air” was introduced for the first time by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) in 1991 with the aim of warning the residents about unhealthy air quality owing to weakening ozone and other weather factors. The alert was also perceived as a way of protecting the ozone from greenhouse gasses and other regions affected by heavy smog conditions also adapted it.
The San Francisco Bay Area, also called as the Bay Area, includes metropolitan areas around San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland and many other small counties. Little wind exposure and intense heat waves often damage the air quality of the region. Stagnant air conditions can be witnessed in winters along with heavy nature of cold air which easily traps polluting particulates. Thus in winter months the BAAQMD often issues orders for using public transportation and bans wood burning.