FAIRFIELD — Wood burning will be illegal in the Bay Area on Saturday for the sixth straight day.
The Bay Area Air Quality Management District has called a mandatory Winter Spare the Air alert. Residents in southern Solano County — including Fairfield, Suisun City, Vallejo and Benicia — who burn wood in a fireplace will face getting a fine.
“Air quality continues to be a polluted and unhealthy for the Bay Area residents. A high pressure system over the region has not allowed fine particulate pollution to move out of the region,” said Jack Broadbent, executive officer of the district, in a press release.
Bay Area residents and businesses cannot use 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, which issues voluntary alerts only.
Winter Spare the Air season for the Bay Area Air Quality Management District runs until Feb. 28. Residents can find out if an alert is in place using the following methods:
Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.