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'Spare the Air' alert rules out wood burning fireplaces Christmas Day

Original post made on Dec 25, 2009

Some may call the air quality district managers scrooges while many others will be able to breathe a sigh of relief today as a "Spare the Air" alert makes wood-burning illegal on Christmas Day.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, December 25, 2009, 7:42 AM

Comments (27)

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Missi
a resident of Downtown
on Dec 25, 2009 at 8:32 am

Anyone notice the number of winter days declared "Spare the Air" days has gone way up since they added the wood burning ban?


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Posted by Dominic
a resident of Del Prado
on Dec 25, 2009 at 8:45 am

This is nothing more than liberal nonsense. Another attempt to control our lives through the bureuacracy of government. This is wrong and we should fight against this; we don't live in a communist country although the liberals in power continue to take away our rights...

Give me a break...We live in California, the land known to have season characterized by massive forest fires (fire season) and these dopes wants me to not use my own fireplace when they say so? If my neighbor is sensitive to woodburning, they should take some personal responsiblity and stay indoors...

I say, bring "more wood," I have the chestnuts ready!


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Posted by Larry
a resident of Val Vista
on Dec 25, 2009 at 8:53 am

The atheist liberal vermin called one for Thanksgiving day as well. It's clearly just a slam at traditional celebrations of American/Christian holidays. There were plenty of cold still days in between that were NOT called Spare the Air. It's a load of crud and I'm burning a log anyway, come and get us if you dare!


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Posted by Burn Away!
a resident of Birdland
on Dec 25, 2009 at 9:21 am

More garbage from the Left! I say scrooge you Smoke Cops!!!!


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Posted by burnin
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 25, 2009 at 9:42 am

Burn those logs everybody and have a Merry Christmas!!


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Posted by Sam Weaver
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Dec 25, 2009 at 9:45 am

Does anyone know what happens if you violate the ban?


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Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Dec 25, 2009 at 10:07 am

you know what happens when you burn wood...it burns...duh

actually, if you burn the wood the munchin's appear...


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Posted by Bill
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Dec 25, 2009 at 4:00 pm

Welcome to the new clean world. Folks you are losing more rights every day. Soon you might you might be trying to live in a cave but the "codes" won't allow that either, and caves are cold without a WOOD fire to keep warm. Get these idiots out of government that that perpetuate these stupid laws on the population.Yeah,good luck!


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Posted by Jerry
a resident of Oak Hill
on Dec 26, 2009 at 9:21 am

It might be noted these "air quality district managers" were not elected by the citizens of California. They were "appointed" by someone...

Does anyone know anything about these "air quality district managers"? Qualifications, ect...

Just wondering...


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Posted by PToWN94566
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 26, 2009 at 1:39 pm

PToWN94566 is a registered user.

I suppose everyone that is blaming a specific political party are also the ones who complain in the middle of the summer that the air looks brown/green over our town (driving 580 east).


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Posted by Patriot
a resident of another community
on Dec 26, 2009 at 5:36 pm

And while we're at it, let's put the lead back in gasoline where it belongs. And get rid of catalytic converters and "scrubbers", and tail pipe emission laws and all that crap. Stop communism now! Catalytic converters are a communist plot.


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Posted by ToCholos
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 27, 2009 at 4:45 pm

Patriot for President! He has the logic of OBAMA. Ship him back to Mexico.


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Posted by No More
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 27, 2009 at 5:04 pm

This is just another part of Obama making up jobs on your dollar. There was an article about a gal newly appointed by Obama admin. for a job that didn't exist before. She thought it would be a good idea to put a note on the doors of homes that are for sale listing the cost of commuting. How does she know where they work or what method of transportation they use to get there???? Just another example of our money being wasted.


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Posted by Getta Grip
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 28, 2009 at 10:18 am

Wow, the California me-first mentality really shines through -- "I'm going to burn my fire and I don't give a damn if it kills me or my neighbors". Brilliant! Get real people. This is not an Obama issue (although, being a conservative, I wish it were). Acually, I'd guess that a majority of wood burners are liberals. This is a practical matter -- burning wood in a fireplace or a stove with out a catalytic converter is a horrendous polution source and a carcinogenic one at that.

About 20 years ago, Denver had the second-most polluted air in the country, second only to LA. They banned word burning fireplaces and stoves that didn't have converters, and started adding ethanol to their gasoline and they dropped out of the top 30. So, get a grip on just how bad a pollution source wood burning is and do something else to kindle that romantic spirit.


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Posted by Arroyo
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 28, 2009 at 11:25 am

We had a beautiful fire on Christmas evening, but I promise not to burn a fire on spare the air days during June - September.


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Posted by Really?
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Dec 28, 2009 at 11:27 am

Comrades, What is the problem. Just comply and you will have nothing to vorry about......Just because we got rid of our old system doesn't mean it doesn't work. China still uses it so why shouldn't your government?


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Posted by Nick
a resident of Valley Trails
on Dec 28, 2009 at 11:32 am

Our air is thousands of time better than it was 200 years ago or even 100 years ago. The air quality district people are cronies of our elected officials. They worked in their campaigns and are rewwarded with these environmental jobs and make 150,000 a year and haven't a clue of what they are doing. Calif Air resourses board is the same thing. They want to stop all trucks with diesel engines and can you imagine the cost of products. These people are nuts and our politicians are respomsible for them being there. We have 1000 teachers out of work and our stupid government has funded CARB for billions. It make no sense. Write your govn and stop this insanity.


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Posted by Nick
a resident of another community
on Jan 8, 2010 at 3:57 pm

I'm a reporter working for a news organization that covers Western issues, and I'm hoping to write a story on the fire ban controversy in the Bay Area. If you'd be willing to talk to me about your encounter with an Air Quality inspector on Christmas, or another day, please send me an e-mail: nicholasn AT hcn DOT org .

Thanks a bunch--

Nick


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Asthma Suffer
a resident of another community
on Jan 12, 2010 at 10:00 pm

No one has made the proper argument about people who Burn Wood or Logs and why it needs to stop immediately Nationwide.

When People who must Burn their Fireplaces start PAYING for What they LOVE so much then it will be okay for them to burn WOOD. READ BELOW WHAT REALLY HAPPENS WHEN WOOD IS BURNED....

The people who Burning solid fuel yields particulate pollution - solid particles smaller than a red blood cell which have been implicated in 30,000 deaths in the US and 2.1 million deaths world wide per year. . "Particulate pollution is the most important contaminant in our air. ...we know that when particle levels go up, people die1. " Indeed, wood smoke is chemically active in the body 40 times longer than tobacco2.
1. Joel Schwartz, Ph.D., Harvard School of Public Health, E Magazine, Sept./Oct. 2002
2. Wm. A Pryor, Persistent Free Radicals in Woodsmoke: An ESR Spin Trapping Study, Free Radical Biology and Medicine 1989, 7(1): 17-21


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Posted by Carlos
a resident of Pheasant Ridge
on Jul 28, 2011 at 8:07 am

We BBQ quite a bit. Does the wood-ban include charcoal? I use wood charcoal (i.e. real wood that has been charcoaled without any other processing or additives). Does the ordinance allow that?


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Posted by Richard
a resident of another community
on Dec 28, 2013 at 5:42 pm

I live in the Northern Zone and this evening I can see clearly to the horizon for 360 degrees - no evidence of air pollution. So I have to ask exactly where the BAAQMD is measuring the particulates it swears are in our air. I have asthma and my mother is 97 yet neither of us is suffering outside. For thousands of years, we burned wood and the human race thrived. Now that there are 6 billion of us, we all of a sudden want to make it MORE safe? Qui bono? The people who produce natural gas. Maybe they are the ones making these decisions.


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Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Dec 29, 2013 at 5:26 pm

If you plan to burn wood on a no fireplace day, then please explain how come you get so upset when young folks/students smoke weed? Crack? etc. etc. etc.

All that inhaling is bad for your health.

So please explain how come you can inhale filthy air and teens can't?

Thank you.


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Posted by Jack
a resident of another community
on Jan 7, 2015 at 9:46 pm

My father had pulmonary fibrosis and emphysema. He was a blacksmith by trade. The winters were always a difficult time for him to breath with all the particulates in the air. I think he spent every Christmas in the hospital until he died on my 11th birthday. It's the same for our pediatric patients in intensive care that have chronic respiratory problems; they come in every winter. Hey folks, it's a simple thing you can do to improve air quality for someone that it really matters to.


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Posted by Ed
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jan 12, 2015 at 1:55 pm

I think a key factor in this debate is to consider the density of the housing where you live. In other words, if I live in an area where all the houses are on 1 acre lots, my neighbors probably won't be bothered if I have a fire (or a loud party or whatever).

But my neighborhood isn't like that. Due to how close our houses are built what I do DOES impact my neighbors so to be respectful I don't have fires and keep the noise down after certain hours in the evening. Thankfully they do the same so we all live in peace.


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Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jan 12, 2015 at 3:20 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.

I have been using my natural gas fired forced air furnace to heat my home for eleven consecutive days due to the recent surge of spare the air days as declared by the BAAQMD.

I normally use my wood burning insert to heat my home. I purchased my wood burning insert eight years ago, two years prior to the BAAQMD adopting regulation six which forbids all wood burning on spare the air days as declared by the BAAQMD.

I purchased my wood burning insert on recommendation from the Environmental Protection Agency. My insert emits 1.26 grams an hour of particulate matter. The EPA limit is 7.0 grams an hour. The wood fired ovens in restaurants in downtown Pleasanton and else where emit particulate matter at a rate greater than 30 grams an hour.

Wood fired ovens in restaurants are exempt on spare the air days. Homeless encampments are exempt on spare the air days, residential homes with out any other source for heat are exempt on spare the air days. Charcoal barbecuing, gas powered lawn equipment, et el is discouraged, but not exempt.

70% of the air pollution in the San Francisco Bay Area is from petroleum fired motor vehicle engines. 20% of the air pollution in the San Francisco Bay Area is from refineries, cement plants, mortuaries, chemical plants, gravel pits, etc., etc.,.

The past eleven days of spare the air declarations by the BAAQMD is not because of residential wood burning, because there has not been any wood burning in the residential community. Tonight at 1200 hours I fire up my wood burning insert because Tuesday is not a spare the air day,


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Damon
a resident of Foothill Knolls
on Jan 12, 2015 at 5:43 pm

@Michael Austin: "70% of the air pollution in the San Francisco Bay Area is from petroleum fired motor vehicle engines. 20% of the air pollution in the San Francisco Bay Area is from refineries, cement plants, mortuaries, chemical plants, gravel pits, etc., etc.,. The past eleven days of spare the air declarations by the BAAQMD is not because of residential wood burning, because there has not been any wood burning in the residential community."

No one is claiming that residential wood burning is currently a major source of Bay Area air pollution. And the reason that residential wood burning is not currently a major source of Bay Area air pollution is precisely because we DO have restrictions on residential wood burning.

By the way, even though your wood burning insert may be relatively clean, I'll bet that the air quality in your neighborhood would still take a serious hit if you and your neighbors all had these relatively clean wood burning inserts and all decided to light up on a Spare the Air day. Your claimed particulate pollution value of 1.26 grams per hour is the equivalent of a couple of hundred burning cigarettes. Multiply that by the number of your neighbors and you would have the equivalent of a couple of thousand of burning cigarettes in your neighborhood. It's like having a giant smoker's convention in your neighborhood. Think that won't make an impact?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ed
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jan 13, 2015 at 9:33 am

I think wood burning fireplaces of any kind are a thing of the past, like when everyone smoked cigs until folks became more aware of the dangers, or threw away everything into landfills until recycling came in to play.

People have become much more aware of what impacts themselves and their enviornment, and I think home fireplaces are on the list of things whose time has come and gone when one weighs the benefits vs costs.

Just one man's opinion.


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