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Bay Area Winter Spare The Air Season Begins

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fireplace, fire, hearth

(Jussi Nukari/AFP/Getty Images)

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Melissa Culross had intended to become a novelist but was side-lined...
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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Winter is approaching, which means it’s time for us all to think about air quality, as Winter Spare the Air season officially begins Tuesday.

Particulate matter from wood burning can be a pollution problem any time of the year, but especially during dry winter weather.

CBS 5 Weather Alerts: Fire Weather, Storm Approaching

“We get sort of a temperature inversion layer that traps cold stagnant air in place and so the smoke comes out of peoples’ chimneys and just kind of sits there,” said Lisa Faisano with the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.

KCBS’ Melissa Culross Reports:

She said her agency once again will be declaring winter Spare the Air alerts this season, and during those alerts burning wood or manufactured logs is illegal. Fasiano says doing so is like turning a fireplace into a big cigarette.

“If you live next to someone who burns you will notice it in your yard, and probably seeping into your home,” said Fasiano. “It impacts people just like second hand cigarette smoke does.”

The winter Spare the Air season rules will be in place through the end of February.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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