During the winter season, wood smoke is the largest source of harmful particulate pollution in the Bay Area. On a typical winter night, wood burning produces about one-third of the pollution in the air. From November 1 through the end of February, the Air District helps manage airborne pollution by calling Winter Spare the Air Alerts when the air quality is expected to be unhealthy.
Each day by early afternoon, the Air District will issue an air quality forecast for the next day. The alert will be in effect the entire next day, for a full 24 hours. When a Winter Spare the Air Alert is in effect, it is illegal to burn wood, manufactured fire logs, pellets, or any other solid fuels in your fireplace, woodstove or outdoor fire pit.
Residents can find information about the health effects of wood smoke, as well as detailed information about the Wood Burning Rule and how to comply with it on SpareTheAir.org’s website. You can also file a wood smoke complaint online.