Yesterday was really hazy, and declared a non-breathable Spare The Air Day in the Bay Area. Today is another bad-air day, which means that it’s illegal to burn wood of any kind.
Based on the Bay Area’s air quality forecast, it looks like the seasonal bad-air will settle here for the next few days. Notice the poor air quality in the Coast and Central Bay area, which includes Oakland and the Oakland Hills.
Yesterday was an official alert day. The air quality was called “unhealthy for sensitive groups,” and all active kids or adults with respiratory problems like asthma were advised to limit outdoor exertion.
While haziness has cleared a bit today, more bad-air days are ahead. The alert level is moderate this week, which means “unusually sensitive” people should watch out at this point. It’s still illegal to burn wood now.
What’s with the wood? Unbreathable days are caused by particulates, and wood-burning can contribute significant levels. According to the Bay Area Air Quality folks, wood fires contribute up to one-third of all particulates on a winter’s night.
These pollution declarations are a new thing, based on new wood-smoke regulations passed last year. The Bay Area Air Quality Management District began its alert program this winter season and, counting yesterday, there have been seven official alert-level days.
Anyway, don’t wait for the cops to follow your smoke trail – just keep your wood-burning fireplaces and stoves turned off this week.