fireplace.jpgBurning wood is strongly discouraged in the Bay Area on Thursday but air quality officials are not calling a Spare the Air Day to make it illegal.

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District called Spare the Air Days on Tuesday and Wednesday–the first two of the winter season–as a result of high levels of air pollution in the region.

However, rather than calling for a third consecutive day of banning wood burning, air quality officials are simply discouraging the practice to help avoid having to call more Spare the Air Days later in the week.

Bay Area residents are asked to check each day before burning wood, manufactured fire logs or other solid fuel during the winter season from Nov. 1 to Feb. 28.

Homes without heating other than wood stoves are exempt from the ban.

Penalties for burning wood on Spare the Air Days include fines and mandatory wood smoke awareness classes.

The daily burn status can be found online at or or by phone at (877) 4-NO-BURN.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

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