FAIRFIELD — A predicted warming trend hasn’t taken enough hold to end the region’s string of Winter Spare the Air days.
The Bay Area Air Quality Management District has called a sixth consecutive alert for Friday. Residents in southern Solano County – including Fairfield, Suisun City, Vallejo and Benicia – who burn wood will face getting a fine.
Cold, stagnant weather keeps wood smoke from rising and keeps it close to the ground, where people can breathe it in. There’s been plenty of cold weather in recent days.
“The current weather trend is preventing the built-up air pollution from clearing out in the Bay Area, and we’re calling another Winter Spare the Air Alert to ensure that public health continues to be protected.” said Jack Broadbent, executive officer of the district, in a press release.
Meanwhile, the National Weather Service continues calling for warmer weather. Low temperatures in coming days should be above freezing, rather than below it. High temperatures by Monday are to top 60 degrees.
It is illegal for Bay Area residents and businesses to use their fireplaces, wood stoves, pellet stoves, outdoor fire pits or any other wood-burning devices during a Winter Spare the Air Alert. Homes without permanently installed heating, where wood stoves or fireplaces are the only source of heat, are exempt.
First-time violators face a $100 fine or must take a class to learn about the hazards of wood smoke pollution. Second-time violators face a $500 ticket, with the amount rising for subsequent offenses.
The mandatory alerts do not affect the north county, including Vacaville, Rio Vista and Dixon. This area is in the Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management District.
Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.