Government Regulation Gone Wild: San Francisco Bans Fireplace Use On Christmas

By: Kristin Tate
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Christmas_Fireplace

Looks like New York City has some competition for Nanny State capital of America.

San Francisco’s Bay Area Air Quality Management District issued a “Winter Spare the Air Alert,” which banned the use of indoor and outdoor fires. It went into effect on Christmas Eve and extended through Christmas day.

During this time period, residents and businesses in the Bay Area were not allowed to burn natural wood or manufactured logs in any fireplace, wood stove, or fire pit. These rules applied regardless of whether or not the burning devices were approved by the Environmental Protection Agency.

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District claimed the ban was put into effect to reduce pollution in the area. In an official statement, the agency said, “We want everyone to enjoy their holiday this week, but unfortunately, weather conditions are causing unhealthy, muddy air again. 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.”


Jack Broadbent, executive officer of the Bay Area Air District, said, “Please respect everyone’s health this holiday by observing the Winter Spare the Air Alert and not burning wood in your fireplace. We don’t want anyone to spend their holiday in the emergency room because they are unable to breathe. In the spirit of giving, please give the gift of clean air.”

So, what happens to those who violate the rule? First-time offenders will be forced to either take a wood smoke awareness class or pay a $100 ticket. Second-time offenders will be fined $500.

This is San Francisco’s 18th Winter Spare the Air Alert of 2013.

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Kristin Tate is a multi-media reporter for Breitbart News and BenSwann.com. Dedicated to fearless journalism, she regularly works on undercover stings with James O'Keefe to reveal government waste, abuse, and fraud. Tate was a Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) Chapter President and Founder. She will continue to fight tirelessly for individual liberty and free markets through new media. Visit Kristin's website at www.TheLibertarianChick.com.

  • Tom223

    This air board uses faulty science to justify their actions. They state opinion as fact and decide accordingly.

    • Gregg Braddoch

      ^ This is also probably why we have labels on many different things that say “Known to the State of California to cause cancer” – Meaning that science could not link that particular product or ingredient to cancer, so California is asserting that it is linked without evidence.

      CA has so many absurd practices and laws.

  • Mike Dunger

    Yet ANOTHER reason to never even consider living on the Left Coast.

    • TIMedWork

      Clearly, life is challenged in San Francisco, and living there only shortens the span of life, while simultaneously reducing its quality. Why would anyone want to do that to themselves?

  • iActuallyLiveInTheBay

    The air quality when I came into the Bay Area was absolutely disgusting. I’m glad they had this going on to be honest. This one part of the few government regulation that I’m in favor of.

    • Gregg Braddoch

      The problem with this sort of thing is that stopping people from burning wood stoves and fireplaces doesn’t fix the problem. It is similar to environmental activism about a sperm whale that was found to have died due to pollution – the laws (or in the case of the whale, activism) provides a “feel good fix” but no actual scientific or practical fixes to the problem.

  • Bruce Molyneux

    so its the fireplaces fault at Christmas the air is shit there after the18th Winter Spare the Air Alert ,typical government bullshit

  • Xplanes

    Seattle did the same thing based on “forecasts”.

  • jaforush

    Phoenix does it all the time….I am so glad I moved to where I can burn anytime.

  • http://bevoluntaryist.com/ BeVoluntaryist

    Government claims to own the air but Californians’ fireplaces, when they get maybe 30 cold days a year, are to blame for the straw the breaks the camels back… that fire! Not that freeway, or that airport, or that military base… that little wood fire!

    • Gregg Braddoch

      ^ Exactly – Plus, we can’t even be sure there are actual problems with the air, or the local communities are simply doing this to raise revenue – just like cops with sobriety checkpoints – they don’t make the road safer, because they are easy to avoid, but boy do they rake in the cash from those unlucky few who are *just* over the limit. (Meanwhile, on the side roads piss-@ss drunk people are getting into accidents, or making their way home without police intervention)

  • cjkw67

    what about those that need their fireplace for heating their homes???

    • Amy Schrecengost

      They are exempt, as stated in the attached article.

      • cjkw67

        I didnt read the attached article (my bad) thanks for the answer!

  • Aman Singh

    I live in the bay area (Fremont) and I’m glad that we have things like this. I’m pretty mad that they had it on Christmas eve and Christmas day, but I’d rather have the bay area air clean unlike the air in LA. The air in LA is disgusting and the smog visible. I don’t remember a day where I’ve seen smog in the Bay Area. Over here, the air feels fresh and I breathe easy.

  • Max Igan

    The best thing for everyone to do is light their fireplaces as a protest and take action against their insane government for breach of trust for daring to even inact such a ridiculous piece of legislation and call it “law” … Its time to take your power back and kiss the terrorist, war mongering, human rights abusing, nanny goodbye once and for all folks…. And if the bare afaced liars and warmongering terrorists that populate the US government are truly concerned about the air, tell them to stop dropping DU bombs all over the world in the illegal wars they are always involving themselves in and perhaps address the matter of the US built reactors that have been leaking nulear waste into the air and sea at Fukushima for the last 2 and a half years…

  • Drew R

    There’s nothing nicer than a log burning fire. Ah the aroma.. I think it’s a human right to be able to have a controlled log burning fire, for real. I suspect fireplaces have minimal impact on air quality. Smoggy air is probably more from gasoline combustion engines than anything else.

    If the free market had its way we’d be using non-petroleum based energy technology for transportation that produces no pollutants. The list of these technologies goes on, but if you look at the potential of the SEG technology from John Searl, it could provide abundant ‘free’ energy, and clean up the air at the same time.

  • http://pinterest.com/PeterCombe/boards/ a tale of a few cities

    Such a load of bureaucratic bs. Walk your neighborhood any time during the day and try breathing through the clouds of noxious carcinogenic fumes spewing from residential dryer vents. The cult of scent is killing us all. And the only thing The Bay Area Air Quality Management District has it’s knickers in a knot about is wood burning fireplaces. Go figure.

  • toph928

    They pull the same thing in salt lake city. We have a color system like a traffic light for when you can burn and when you can’t. It’s ridiculous. Unfortunately the morons that thought this was a good idea haven’t been able to figure out it doesn’t make a difference. Every home puts out emissions from a furnace burning some kind of fuel. Even electric furnaces get their power from a fuel burning power plant.

  • AregularMom

    That is just plain nuts!