FAIRFIELD — A Winter Spare the Air alert for Saturday is the 30th of the season, tying a record set in 2006-07.
Since the Winter Spare the Air season runs from Nov. 1 through Feb. 28, plenty of time remains to break the record. With more bad air predicted for coming days, that record may come sooner rather than later. Data goes back only to 2006-07, with standards changing from earlier years.
Residents in southern Solano County – which includes Fairfield, Suisun City, Vallejo and Benicia – who burn wood in a fireplace on Saturday will face a fine.
The Bay Area Air Quality Management District called the mandatory Winter Spare the Air alert. A high pressure system with still, dry conditions will cause air pollution levels to build to unhealthy levels, an agency press release said.
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, which includes 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.