Steady Weather Pattern To Prompt More Bay Area Spare-The-Air Alerts

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) –Two more winter Spare the Air alerts were issued over this past holiday weekend, and once again hundreds of complaints were made about people burning wood fires in their homes.

Because the Bay Area’s current weather conditions have been trapping pollutants close to the ground, winter Spare the Air alerts were issued for the first two days of the New Year, and Kristine Rosalis with the Bay Area Air Quality Management District said that more alerts could be called this week.

“We’re seeing the same stagnant weather pattern just stick around,” said Rosalis. “It’s been so stubborn and we can’t seem to get it out of the area.”

KCBS’ Anna Duckworth Reports:

Rosalis said that there were more than 400 complaints of people burning wood fires in their homes on Sunday and Monday, despite the ban. They’ve also logged 31 potential areas where violations may have taken place.

“We map those complaints, and then we concentrate our patrols in those areas where we see a high number of complaints,” said Rosalis. “So we’re not responding directly to each one.”

The district credits the ban for helping in a 15 percent reduction in toxic soot levels during the winter season in recent years.

All first time violators receive a warning letter, but if they burn again on an alert day they will have to pay a $400 fine.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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