Many San Francisco residents were saddened to learn there would be no cozying up to the fireplace this Christmas as the city put an all-out ban on fires of any kind. The ban went into effect on Christmas eve and covered all indoor and outdoor fires.
The ban came about after the Bay Area Air Quality Management District had released a, “Winter Spare the Air Alert.” The alert prohibits “residents from burning either wood, manufactured logs or any other solid fuels in all fireplaces.”
(See also: Soldiers Banned From Saying “Christmas”)
Jack Broadbent, the executive officer of the Bay Area Air District started the televised announcement by stating, “We want everyone to enjoy their holiday this week, but unfortunately, weather conditions are causing unhealthy, muddy air again.”
Explaining the matter further, Broadbent said, “Air is forecast to be extremely unhealthy this week so it is imperative that residents protect air quality and not burn in their indoor or outdoor fireplaces.”
This effectively made it illegal for anyone within San Francisco to burn a fire at any time, inside or out, even if their methods were approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The Spare the Air’s website stated that even though, “ [EPA-approved devices] burn more cleanly, these wood-burning devices still emit fine particulate air pollution and when the wintertime air pollution reaches unhealthy levels, any burning contributes to excessive air pollution.”
Hopefully no one depended solely on a wood burning stove to heat their home. If it turns out that police came knocking on your door, first time offenders would have the option to either enroll in a wood smoke awareness class or pay a $100 fine. The second offense would cost you about $500, and third would cost even more.
Authorities were even giving people who wanted to barbeque a hard time saying that its allowed, but strongly discouraged. They even went as far to guilt trip residents suggesting, “all Bay Area residents to voluntarily reduce air pollution by making clean air choices every day.”
Good thing San Francisco has things like car and energy plant pollution under control to avoid further contamination of the air. Now all they have to worry about is natural wood smoke!
Would you have been upset if you were told you couldn’t light a fire on Christmas?