Well, in the San Francisco Bay Area it is, anyway...
For the fourth time this week, a Spare the Air alert has been issued for Saturday by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.
According to the district, a high pressure weather system along with colder temperatures have lingered in the Bay Area all week, causing pollution to become trapped and rise to unhealthy levels. When an alert has been issued, it is illegal residents to burn wood, manufactured fire logs or any other solid fuels indoors or outside.
So...during one of the coldest winters we've experienced in years, this BAAQMD wants to make a cheap and easy way to stay warm illegal. Apparently, if your home is without a permanent heating system you're exempt (apparently the wood being burned in those homes doesn't affect the air) but otherwise, if you're caught burning wood, you're subject to a fine...although, at least in my city, the police department has refused to assist in enforcing this ban. Something about having real criminals to worry about.
I get that we all want to have clean, breathable air...but burning wood? Something people have been doing since we discovered what fire is? The smell of someone having a fire in their fireplace has always been a pleasant smell for me, sort of one of those smells that lets you know it's time for the holidays.
I could see maybe suggesting people find another means of heating their homes if possible, but a ban? Seems like a pretty big overstep.
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