Spare the Air alert called Friday for Bay Area

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Bay Area air-district officials issued a Spare the Air alert Thursday, prohibiting residents from wood-burning and urging vulnerable people to take precautions.

Data from meteorologists and other sources led Bay Area Air Quality Management District officials to issue the alert for Friday, with moderate air quality conditions expected to edge into ranges considered unhealthy for sensitive populations in North Bay counties and portions of the Santa Clara Valley.

Although Northern California’s fire season recently drew to a close, cool and calm weather conditions have led to build-ups of ground-level fine particulates, putting at risk people who suffer from emphysema, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorders and other conditions.

Those at risk should filter air and limit outside activities, or consider temporarily traveling out of the area.

The alert means it is illegal to burn wood, fire logs, pellets, or solid fuels in fireplaces, wood stoves, outdoor fire pits, and other wood-burning devices.

One way to help lower particulate exposure is to limit travel, use bicycling or arrange car-pooling. Another may be to take public transit, which may be operating on lighter or different schedules due to the holiday.

Residents may track nearby air-quality conditions at https://www.baaqmd.gov/highs or learn more about advisories and alerts at https://www.sparetheair.gov.

Contact George Kelly at 408-859-5180.

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