San Francisco Issues A Fireplace Ban On Christmas Day


San Francisco officials have extended a ban on the burning of wood, manufactured fire logs or any other solid fuel to Christmas day, Fox News reported.

The Bay Area Quality Management District announced on Monday that Christmas Eve would be a "Winter Spare the Air Alert," placing a 24-hour ban on all forms of outdoor and indoor open fire use on Bay Area residents. On Tuesday, the agency extended that ban to Dec. 25.

In a statement, the government agency said they issued this plan because pollution is forecast to reach unhealthy levels amid a high-pressure system.

"We want everyone to enjoy their holiday this week, but unfortunately, weather conditions are causing unhealthy, muddy air again," Jack Broadbent, executive officer of the Bay Area Air District, said in a statement released Monday. "Air is forecast to be extremely unhealthy this week so it is imperative that residents protect air quality and not burn in their indoor or outdoor fireplaces."

The alert makes it illegal for Bay Area residents and businesses to use fireplaces, woodstoves, pellet stoves, outdoor fire pits or any other wood-burning device during the 24-hours the ban is issued. The government agency said homes without permanently installed heating are exempt.

During the winter season, wood smoke from the 1.4 million fireplaces and wood stoves in the Bay Area is the single largest source of air pollution, according to the government agency.

 "Please respect everyone's health this holiday by observing the Winter Spare the Air Alert and not burning wood in your fireplace," Broadbent said. "We don't want anyone to spend their holiday in the emergency room because they are unable to breathe. In the spirit of giving, please give the gift of clean air."

First-time violators of the alert will be given the option of taking a wood smoke awareness class, online or by mail, to learn about the hazards of wood smoke pollution in lieu of paying a $100 ticket. Second violations will result in a $500 ticket, and subsequent ticket amounts will be higher.

 This is the Bay Area's 18th Winter Spare the Air Alert this year. The Winter Spare the Air season which runs from Nov.1 through Feb. 28.

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