FAIRFIELD — Continued cold, stagnant weather has prompted the Bay Area Air Quality Management District to call a fourth consecutive Winter Spare the Air Day for Wednesday.
But predicted warmer weather by week’s end should soon put an end to that streak.
Cold, stagnant air traps wood smoke close to the ground. Residents in southern Solano County – including Fairfield, Suisun City, Vallejo and Benicia – who burn wood in a fireplace on Wednesday will face getting a fine. Only homes where a wood stove or fireplace is the only source of heating are exempt.
“By not burning wood, we all help limit the particulate pollution that poses a serious health problem to many people in our community,” Jack Broadbent, district executive officer, said in a press release.
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. That district is asking residents to voluntary refrain from wood burning.
Fairfield on early Tuesday morning saw temperatures drop to 24 degrees. By 1 p.m., temperatures had reached only 51 degrees after staying below 50 degrees for the entire morning.
But some relief for the cold may be coming. The National Weather Service predicts that lows will be in the high 30s by week’s end and daytime highs will be in the upper 50s. The average high is 56 degrees and the average low is 39 degrees.
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 email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.