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Weather, Redwood City Fire Prompts Extended Wood Burning Ban

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A fire burns at the Sims recycling plant in Redwood City on December 17, 2013. (CBS)

A fire burns at the Sims recycling plant in Redwood City on December 17, 2013. (CBS)

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Bay Area residents will be banned from burning wood for the 11th straight day on Wednesday.

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District on Tuesday issued another Winter Spare the Air alert for Wednesday, the 15th since its winter season began on Nov. 1.

The air district issues alerts and bans wood burning both indoors and outdoors on days when it deems air pollution has risen to unhealthy levels in the region.

An ongoing cold weather pattern in the Bay Area has prompted the unprecedented string of consecutive Winter Spare the Air alerts, according to the district, which said Tuesday morning’s fire at a recycling facility in Redwood City likely contributed to the elevated pollution levels.

District officials said the cold weather system is expected to weaken later this week, with increasing winds likely to help reduce pollution below unhealthy levels on Thursday.

Only homes without permanently installed heating are exempt from the wood-burning ban.

First-time violators are given the option of taking a wood smoke awareness class in lieu of paying a $100 fine. Subsequent violations result in higher fines.

The daily burn status in the Bay Area can be found online at www.baaqmd.gov or www.sparetheair.org, by calling (877) 4-NO-BURN or by signing up for Spare the Air iPhone or Android apps.

(Copyright 2013 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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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