In a city that has led some of the nation's most stringent bans on everything from trans fat to smoking in public (and, not-so-public places) and then some, San Francisco has done it again, nixing one of the few festivities people of all walks enjoy on New Year's day: cozying up by the fireplace.
Yes, even on the holidays, Bay Area "regulators" never seem to rest, issuing their first "Spare the Air" alert of the season which bans residents from lighting wood fireplaces and stoves on Tuesday.
According to weather reports, a cold, low-pressure weather system in from the West is perfect breeding ground for a stagnant, pollutant-trapping air.
"Current weather conditions are expected to allow air pollution to build up to unhealthy levels on New Year's Day," according to a written statement from Jack Broadbent, head of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.
"Sitting by the fire during the holidays may conjure up fond memories, but it's important that everyone forgoes burning during this alert so we can all enjoy a happy, healthy holiday."
The system is could remain hovering over the Bay Area until the weekend, according to Mark Strudley, with the National Weather Service. "I don't think there will be a lot of cloud cover."
Temperatures are currently in the low 50s and high 40s, but a freeze warning has been issued for the area. The system will stay over the Bay Area until at least the weekend, Strudley said.
"There might be a very, very small chance of showers north of the Golden Gate in the later to midweek, but that's pretty tentative," Strudley said.