The Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQM) has declared it “unlawful” to burn today and today is just the beginning.
In more recent years, Bay Area residents have begin to noticed a startling trend; the BAAQM seems to be attacking Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years. In the days surrounding these holidays, Spare the Air alerts have been documented as “No Burn Days” in the past few years. This means the 7 million Bay Area residents will have to forgo offering seasonal fires to guests during the upcoming holiday season.
BAAQM claims that the Spare the Air alerts are issued depending on air quality conditions, however, it seems as though particular holidays are targeted every year.
Unfortunately, no fires for the holidays is just the beginning. If caught you could face being reported by neighbors, facing fines upwards of $400, forced to attend a Spare the Air school (paid by tax payers) and even forced evacuation of your home with the possibility of it being condemn or seized. To add insult to injury, we were unable to find any California law that states it’s unlawful to burn wood anytime, even on Spare the Air days (If you find one, let us know!).
For those that are wondering what the public thinks of the fireplace police,
it’s not good. According to March 2012 ABC article, “Residents have called the inspectors “communists,” “disciples of Hitler,” “a disgrace to this country,”
“inconsiderate,” “obnoxious” and “out of control.” In one (letter), the writer
said he’s “enraged” that they’ve “ruined every holiday…” Another told them
they’re going to hell.”
To find out more information on the Spare the Air legal issues, who’s supporting it and how this costly program affects its residents and how they feel it about it, click here.
The team at DiabloReporter.com will continue documenting the alerts as they correspond to the holidays and publish our findings in our upcoming Spare the Air reports. And since we can’t enjoy the real thing today (unless you’re a rebel 🙂 ) perhaps this will help a little.
Tell us what you think about the issue? Is this program for the greater good or another system to control the lives of millions?