Tuesday, November 22, 2022

The Air District is asking residents to not burn wood over the Thanksgiving holiday to help prevent air pollution from rising to unhealthy levels. Air quality is expected to be in the Moderate category on Thanksgiving Day and extensive wood burning over the holiday could cause air quality to become unhealthy, especially in inland valleys. A Spare the Air Alert is NOT in effect and wood burning is allowed, but strongly discouraged.

Spare the Air Status

“We encourage residents to refrain from burning wood this holiday weekend to help keep air pollution low,” said Sharon Landers, interim executive officer of the Air District. “Wood smoke creates unhealthy air inside and outside the home. Let’s all do our part to ensure a healthier, happier holiday weekend for everyone by not burning wood.”

Like cigarette smoke, wood smoke contains fine particles and carcinogenic substances that make the air harmful to breathe. Wood smoke is the major source of air pollution in the Bay Area in the wintertime and is especially harmful to children, the elderly and people with respiratory conditions.

Bay Area residents can find out if a Spare the Air Alert is in effect by:

  • Signing up for text alerts. To sign up, text the word “START” to the number 817-57
  • Visiting or
  • Signing up for e-mail AirAlerts at
  • Signing up for phone alerts at
  • Downloading the Spare the Air, Bay Area iPhone or Android app
  • Connecting with Spare the Air on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram

In the winter, wood smoke from the 1.4 million fireplaces and wood stoves in the Bay Area is the single largest source of air pollution, contributing about one-third of the harmful fine particulate pollution in the air. One fireplace burning can pollute an entire neighborhood. Exposure to wood smoke—like cigarette smoke—has been linked to serious respiratory illnesses and even increased risk of heart attacks. Breathing fine particulates accounts for more than 90 percent of premature deaths related to air pollution.

Check the Air District's air quality readings.

View EPA Fire and Smoke Map.

View Wildfire Safety page.

View press release.

Last Updated: 11/22/2022