Bay Area Residents Asked Not To Burn Wood

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(Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

(Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

CBS SF Bay (con't)

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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Bay Area residents have been asked not to burn wood Sunday by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.

District officials said that due to stagnant weather patterns predicted over the next several days, pollution from wood smoke could become trapped near the ground, causing unhealthy breathing conditions.

The agency stopped short of declaring a Spare the Air day, which would make wood burning illegal. Instead, the air district is asking residents to voluntarily refrain from wood burning.

But pollution from wood burning is rising, and if it continues to rise, then a Spare the Air day will be called, district officials said.

Wood smoke has been linked to serious respiratory illnesses and increased risk of heart attacks, and may cause difficulty breathing, particularly for those with pre-existing lung conditions, district officials said.

The air district is asking residents to always check whether wood burning is permitted during the winter Spare the Air season, which lasts until Feb. 29.

The current Spare the Air status can be found online, either at www.baaqmd.gov or www.sparetheair.org.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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