Looks like New York City has some competition for Nanny State capital of America.
San Francisco’s Bay Area Air Quality Management District issued a “Winter Spare the Air Alert,” which banned the use of indoor and outdoor fires. It went into effect on Christmas Eve and extended through Christmas day.
During this time period, residents and businesses in the Bay Area were not allowed to burn natural wood or manufactured logs in any fireplace, wood stove, or fire pit. These rules applied regardless of whether or not the burning devices were approved by the Environmental Protection Agency.
The Bay Area Air Quality Management District claimed the ban was put into effect to reduce pollution in the area. In an official statement, the agency said, “We want everyone to enjoy their holiday this week, but unfortunately, weather conditions are causing unhealthy, muddy air again. Air is forecast to be extremely unhealthy this week so it is imperative that residents protect air quality and not burn in their indoor or outdoor fireplaces.”
Jack Broadbent, executive officer of the Bay Area Air District, said, “Please respect everyone’s health this holiday by observing the Winter Spare the Air Alert and not burning wood in your fireplace. We don’t want anyone to spend their holiday in the emergency room because they are unable to breathe. In the spirit of giving, please give the gift of clean air.”
So, what happens to those who violate the rule? First-time offenders will be forced to either take a wood smoke awareness class or pay a $100 ticket. Second-time offenders will be fined $500.
This is San Francisco’s 18th Winter Spare the Air Alert of 2013.