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The Bay Area Air Quality Management District is asking residents to check before burning any wood fires on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day since predicted light winds and cool air may create unhealthy air conditions across the region.

You can find out whether burning wood is prohibited by checking Spare the Air notices at www.mercurynews.com/extra.

Weather forecasts for the end of this week, including Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, predict light winds and cool dry air that stays near the ground. According to the BAAQMD, these conditions trap smoke, causing unhealthy breathing conditions across the region.

The district has already issued two winter Spare the Air alerts, its first one falling on Thanksgiving Day.

On these days, Bay Area residents are prohibited from burning wood or manufactured fire logs in fireplaces, wood stoves, fire pits or in any other place. The ban extends to both indoor and outdoor fires.

According to the BAAQMD, there are about 1.4 million fireplaces and wood stoves in the Bay Area, and smoke is the region's largest source of wintertime air pollution.

The district posts the next day's air quality forecast by 1:30 p.m. daily. Sign up for alerts at www.sparetheair.org. or by phone at (800) 430-1515.