SAN FRANCISCO -- The Bay Area Air Quality Management District has issued the season's 30th Winter Spare the Air Alert for Saturday, tying a record set in 2006.

The alert bans the burning of wood, manufactured fire logs or any other solid fuels indoors and outdoors for 24 hours, including in fireplaces, woodstoves, pellet stoves, outdoor fire pits or any other wood-burning device. Homes in which wood stoves or fireplaces are the only source of heat are exempt.

First-time violators are subject to $100 tickets or given the option of taking a wood smoke awareness class online or by mail. Subsequent violations can result in tickets of $500 or more. According to the district, a high pressure system with dry, still conditions has settled in over the region causing air pollution to build up to unhealthy levels.

The Winter Spare the Air season runs until Feb. 28. Contact Jeremy Thomas at 925-847-2184. Follow him at Twitter.com/jet_bang.



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