fireplace.jpgAir quality officials are asking Bay Area residents to refrain from burning wood or firelogs this week.

Weather conditions on Thursday and Friday could trap smoke near the ground, causing unhealthy breathing conditions, said Kristine Roselius, a spokeswoman for Bay Area Air Quality Management District.

“We are asking the public to voluntarily refrain from wood burning today and tomorrow,” Air District executive officer Jack Broadbent said today.

The air quality district has not called a Winter Spare the Air Alert, which would prohibit burning wood in the Bay Area.

“It depends what happens today and tomorrow,” Roselius said. “We’re hoping we don’t have to call an alert. We’re hoping air pollution levels level off or go down.”

Wood smoke is the largest source of wintertime air pollution in the Bay Area, Roselius said.

It contains harmful pollutants such as carbon monoxide, Roselius said, as well as toxins such as dioxin, which is linked to increased cancer rates in adults.

Wood smoke can cause breathing difficulties, particularly in children, seniors and people suffering from heart or lung conditions, Roselius said.

The Air District’s Winter Spare the Air season runs from Nov. 1 through Feb. 28, Roselius said. During that time, the public should check the area burn status before burning wood.

A daily burn status can be found on the air quality district’s website at or at

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