Chimney Sweep

Bay Space will see a Spare the Air alert Friday

Photo of Julie Johnson

Nov 24, 2022

An orange sun sets in a hazy sky near the Bay Bridge on Wednesday, August 18, 2021, in Alameda, Calif.

Yalonda M.James/The Chronicle 2021

High levels of wood smoke pollution were expected to make air quality unhealthy Friday, leading regional air quality officials to ban most fires.

The Spare the Air Alert prohibits using fireplaces, wood stoves, pellet stoves, outdoor fire pits, chimneys or other wood-burning devices. The ban doesn’t apply to households with no other heat source.

Wood smoke accounts for about one-third of fine particulate matter pollution in the Bay Are during winter months, according to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.

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Julie Johnson (she/her) is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email:

Julie Johnson covers the changing climate, sea level rise and strategies to stem California’s wildfire crisis. Before joining The Chronicle, she spent 11 years as a staff writer at the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, where she had a leading role on the breaking news team awarded the 2018 Pulitzer for coverage of the 2017 Wine Country fires. Julie has covered murderous pot deals, police corruption and marijuana’s rocky path from a black-market trade to a legitimate industry.

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