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Winter Spare The Air Alert Issued For Today

Fifth advisory issued this season by Bay Area Air Quality Management District.

Weather conditions forecast for Wednesday are expected to create unhealthy air quality in the Bay Area, prompting a local agency to proclaim season's fifth Winter Spare the Air Day.

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District announced today that wood burning, both indoors and outdoors, will be illegal all day Wednesday.

The alert also bans the burning of manufactured fire logs and any other solid fuel.

The ban will be in effect in for Santa Clara, Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, southern Sonoma and southwestern Solano counties, air district officials said.

Last week, there were four consecutive Winter Spare the Air days beginning Wednesday.

During winter months, wood smoke is the leading cause of wintertime air pollution in the Bay Area, according to district officials.

Wood smoke contains harmful pollutants, such as soot and carbon monoxide, and toxins such as dioxin, which has been linked to increased cancer rates in adults.

About one-third of the harmful soot in the winter air can be attributed to wood smoke from the roughly 1.4 million fireplaces and wood stoves in the Bay Area, according to the district.

More information about the ban can be found at www.sparetheair.org or by calling (877) 4NO-BURN (466-2876).

Those wishing to receive automatic phone calls when a Winter Spare the Air alert is issued can register for the alerts by calling (800) 430-1515.

—By Bay City News Service

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