Dec 21 2020

Wood Burning Banned

A Spare the Air alert went into effect for the Bay Area on Monday, December 21. Wood burning outdoors as well as indoors is banned for 24 hours  the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) announced in a tweet.

Violators are subject to $500 Fine

First time violators will be issued an NOV (Notice of Violation) but will have an opportunity to take the Air District’s Wood Smoke Awareness Written Test in lieu of paying a fine. Those who are found in violation a second time are issued a NOV citation and are subject to a $500 fine. Repeat violators who subsequently continue to burn in violation of the regulation will face increasing financial penalties.

BAAQMD reminds residents:

During the winter, smoke from residential wood burning is the leading cause of air pollution in the Bay Area. Small particles and toxic chemicals from wood smoke can cause serious health problems, especially in children, older adults, and those with heart or respiratory problems.

When wood and other solid fuels are burned, the smoke emitted contains fine particulate air pollution (also known as PM2.5 and these tiny particles (about 1/70th the width of a human hair) can pass deep into the lungs and cause serious health effects to the public. High levels of fine particulates can result in difficulty breathing, aggravate asthma and even cause premature death for people with heart or lung disease. Winter weather conditions can trap wood smoke close to the ground concentrating the air pollution to unhealthy levels. When these conditions occur, wood smoke is the largest portion (approximately 39%) of the wintertime fine particulate matter in the Bay Area.


While they burn more cleanly, these wood-burning devices still emit fine particulate air pollution and when the wintertime air pollution reaches unhealthy levels, any burning contributes to excessive air pollution. Therefore, in order to protect the public health of Bay Area residents, the Air District must reduce fine particulate air pollution by banning burning in all types of wood-burning devices on these days.

Check Piedmont air quality here.


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