Spare the Air

Learn about the Spare the Air Program, how the seasons affect air quality, and how to find out whether a Spare the Air Alert is in effect.

The Air District created the Spare the Air Program to educate residents about air pollution, to encourage actions to improve air quality in the Bay Area, and to provide advance notice when air quality is expected to be unhealthy.

As part of the Spare the Air Program, the Air District asks residents to reduce pollution by making clean air choices every day. This can include walking and biking more often, taking transit, telecommuting or carpooling, driving less, reducing energy consumption at home, and making many other daily choices that improve air quality.

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

During the winter months, particulate matter pollution (sometimes known as soot) can reach unhealthy levels in the Bay Area. On days when particulate matter levels are forecast to be high, the Air District issues a Winter Spare the Air Alert, making wood burning illegal throughout the Bay Area. On these days, residents are advised to limit their time outdoors, especially those sensitive to unhealthy air. Residents can file a wood smoke complaint online or by calling 1-877-4NO-BURN (466-2876).

Spare the Air Alerts

To find out whether a Spare the Air Alert is in effect:

Contact Us

Communications & Outreach Office
General Information

415.749.4900

Technical Services
Air Monitoring

415.749.4985

Contact Us

Wood Burning Status
Wood Burning Status
  • illegal to burn

    Tuesday,
    12/12

    Winter Spare the Air Alert in Effect

Last Updated: 8/19/2014