-By Bay City News Service
A second Spare the Air Day has been called for today, banning the burning of wood and solid fuel, according to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.
The winter season's first Spare the Air Day was on New Year's Day, and continued weather predictions have led the district to call for a second day.
On Spare the Air Days in the winter season, it is illegal to burn wood inside or outside, manufactured fire logs, and any other solid fuel, district officials said.
Homes without heating other than wood stoves are exempt from the ban, however.
Penalties for violating the ban include fines and mandatory wood smoke awareness classes. The Winter Spare the Air season runs from Nov. 1 to Feb. 28.
This is what the BAAQMD has to say about wood smoke:
Wood smoke contains fine particulate matter, or soot, that can easily bypass the natural filters in the nose and penetrate deep into the lungs. Scientific evidence indicates that exposure to fine particles can cause a wide range of health effects, including increased asthma-induced emergency room visits, respiratory and cardiovascular related hospital admissions, chronic bronchitis, non-fatal heart attacks and premature death. Reducing wood smoke is the most cost-effective reduction strategy for fine particulate matter and will likely result in the greatest improvement in air quality and public health.