SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – The Bay Area Air Quality Management District is asking the region’s residents to not burn wood during the Christmas holiday but is not issuing Spare the Air alerts that would ban it.

The district, which oversees air quality in the nine-county Bay Area, issued the wood-burning bans via Spare the Air alerts on days earlier this week, but said the air quality will be better Friday during the Christmas holiday.

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Nevertheless, the burning of wood in fireplaces, woodstoves and fire pits can cause significant localized pollution, so the air district is strongly discouraging it.

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“After unprecedented levels of wildfire smoke and increasing COVID-19 health concerns this year, it’s important that the public not burn wood so we can all enjoy clean air and have a healthy holiday season,” air district executive officer Jack Broadbent said in a news release.

The air district is also reminding residents that it is illegal to burn wrapping paper, which often includes synthetic inks and other chemicals, as well as burning other trash or paper.

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