When there is a forecast for poor quality air in the Bay Area, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District declares a Spare the Air day for 24 hours. During the summer that means car pooling, taking public transit and those gas mowers are a no-no. During the winter it’s illegal to burn wood or any solid fuel for those 24 hours as wood smoke is the largest cause of particulate pollution during the winter.
Unfortunately when it’s freezing cold like it has been, the wind doesn’t blow and the bad air just sits here… which increases the likelihood of a Spare the Air day being declared. That means no chestnuts roasting on an open fire for many of us here in the area.
I think last year Spare the Air was even declared on Christmas. Bah! Humbug!
Okay, while I really love my fireplace, I really shouldn’t complain. Just ask the folks in Shanghai right now. Yikes!
Yeah, I’ll take my clean air over a few missed fireplace crackling nights.
Interested in Spare the Air alert notifications via email? You can sign up at www.SpareTheAir.org. They have tons of great information about air quality in the Bay Area including ways you can help keep our skies clear.
I also added a Spare the Air widget to the right for a way to keep updated as well → → →
If you are looking for an alternative to a wood fire, I highly recommend this YouTube video.