Wood-burning fires will be banned in the Bay Area for the second consecutive day Thursday, marking the sixth Spare the Air alert of the winter season, officials said.

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District forecasts unhealthy levels of smoke and other fine particulates on Thursday because stagnant air will trap pollutants near the ground.

While an alert is in progress, it is illegal for residents and businesses to use their fireplaces, woodstoves and inserts, pellet stoves, outdoor fire pits, or any other wood-burning devices. Homes without permanently installed heating, where woodstoves or fireplaces are the only source of heat, are exempt.

Wood smoke is the single largest source of air pollution in the Bay Area during the winter season, contributing about one-third of the harmful particulate pollution in the air. Exposure to wood smoke has been linked to serious respiratory illnesses and increased risk of heart attacks.

Residents must check for alerts before they burn during the winter season, which runs from Nov. 1 through Feb. 28. The daily burn status can be found at www.baaqmd.gov or www.sparetheair.org, by calling 1-877-4-NO-BURN, or via the Spare the Air iPhone and Android apps.

Contact Erin Ivie at 925-847-2122. Follow her at Twitter.com/erin_ivie.



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