Skip to main content
Weather

What’s Going On With Air Quality in San Francisco?

Written by Bay City NewsPublished Dec. 18, 2022 • 2:03pm
People walk in the Bernal Heights Park with the San Francisco skyline in the background on Friday, June 10, 2022. | Camille Cohen/The Standard

English

It’s not your imagination. It’s a bit hazy out there and tomorrow will be worse.

Some residents have been burning wood to stay warm during these cold days and nights. That increase in particulate matter (a.k.a. “soot”) combined with the high pressure sitting over the region makes for poor air quality. 

The haze is serious enough that burning wood or any other solid fuel in the Bay Area is prohibited on Monday, both indoors and outdoors, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District announced in a Spare the Air alert on Sunday.

The air district said the Bay Area will likely have unhealthy air quality as the region faces high pressure, which will trap wood smoke at ground level. Combined with freezing night temperatures, fog, light wind and high air pollution from the Central Valley, the district said residents may be exposed to higher levels of fine particulate pollution. 

“Wood smoke is expected to create hazy skies and unhealthy air quality throughout the Bay Area tomorrow,” said Sharon Landers, interim executive officer of the Air District. “By not burning wood, we can reduce the harmful health impacts on our families and neighbors this holiday season.”

As a result, residents and businesses are prohibited from using fireplaces, wood stoves, pellet stoves, outdoor fire pits or any other device that burns wood during the alert. Homes without permanently installed heating are an exemption, though they must use an EPA-certified or registered pellet-fueled device.

The district said exposure to wood smoke, which contains carcinogens, can increase the risk of respiratory illness and heart attacks. Children, the elderly and people with respiratory conditions are most affected by wood smoke.

More information on Spare the Air alerts and the latest air quality forecasts can be found on the air district’s website. 

English

Questions, comments or concerns about this article may be sent to [email protected]


Residents of 3 More California Counties Can Apply for Federal Disaster Relief

Residents of 3 More California Counties Can Apply for Federal Disaster Relief


Photos: California Sees Almost 600 Landslides in Under 3 Weeks

Photos: California Sees Almost 600 Landslides in Under 3 Weeks


California Waives Tax Penalties for Businesses Hit by Storms

California Waives Tax Penalties for Businesses Hit by Storms


‘Somebody Has To Help Us’: Bay Area Residents on the Hook for Thousands in Storm Damages

‘Somebody Has To Help Us’: Bay Area Residents on the Hook for Thousands in Storm Damages


Driving to Tahoe in Winter Conditions Can Be Daunting. Here’s What You Need To Know

Driving to Tahoe in Winter Conditions Can Be Daunting. Here’s What You Need To Know


Stay on top of what’s happening in your city

SF’s most important stories, delivered straight to your inbox



By clicking Subscribe you confirm you have read and agree to our Terms of Use and acknowledge our Privacy Policy