By Bay City News Service
The Bay Area Air Quality Management District is asking Bay Area residents to skip the fire in the fireplace on Christmas Eve to keep air quality healthy on Christmas Day.
Burning wood is not illegal on Christmas Eve, but officials are asking residents to observe a voluntary ban.
"The break in the blustery weather will cause smoke pollution to build on Christmas Eve and Christmas morning," said Jack Broadbent, the district's executive officer. "We are asking the public to voluntarily not burn on Christmas Eve to help reduce pollution levels and avoid the need to call a Winter Spare the Air Alert on Christmas Day."
The holidays are typically periods of high wood smoke pollution because so many people light a fire for Christmas, according to the district. Wood smoke contains pollutants such as soot and carbon monoxide and dioxin, and can cause breathing difficulties for many people.