Healthy Air

You Can Help Spare the Air!

Summer Spare the Air

During the summer months, ozone pollution (also known as smog) can become a health problem in the Bay Area. The Air District issues Spare the Air Alerts on days when air quality is forecast to be unhealthy and urges residents to drive less and reduce the use of ozone-forming pollutants. Residents who are sensitive to unhealthy air are advised to limit their time outdoors, especially in the afternoon, when ozone levels rise.

Winter Spare the Air

Air pollution doesn't just come from cars and factories. A large part of our winter air pollution is caused when people burn wood in their fireplaces and woodstoves. Wood smoke contains microscopic particles which can enter the lungs and cause serious health problems.

Burning wood or fire logs is illegal during the Winter Spare the Air season (November 1st through February 28th) when a Winter Spare the Air Alert is issued. Always check before you burn by calling 877-4NO-BURN (877-466-2876) or visiting the Spare the Air website.

In addition:
  • Never burn any garbage, plastics, or other inappropriate materials.
  • When burning is allowed, burn only short hot fires using clean, dry wood.
  • Consider a gas fireplace as a long term investment in your family's health.
  • Register to receive automatic email or phone notification of Winter Spare the Air Alerts.
The Bay Area Air Quality Management District is committed to achieving clean air to protect the public's health and the environment. Visit their website to learn more about their programs and how you can make positive air quality choices.

More than 50% of California's total smog pollution and 38% of its greenhouse gas emissions come from motor vehicles. When considering a new vehicle purchase, check out this buying guide to the cleanest, most efficient cars on the market.