Bay Area residents asked not to burn wood today, tomorrow

(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District is asking local residents not to burn wood in fireplaces and woodstoves today and Thanksgiving to prevent air quality from becoming unhealthy.

"We are asking residents in the Bay Area to help keep air pollution low this Thanksgiving by doing one significant thing - not burning wood indoors or outdoors," Jack Broadbent, executive officer of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, said in a statement.

Stagnant weather conditions in the Bay Area are trapping wood smoke and fine particulate pollution close to the ground, degrading the region's air quality, according to the agency.

A Winter Spare the Air Alert is not in effect, and wood burning is not illegal, the agency said.However, it is strongly discouraged.

Like cigarette smoke, wood smoke contains fine particles and carcinogenic substances that make the air unhealthy, according to the agency.

Wood smoke is a major source of air pollution in the Bay Area, the agency said. It is especially harmful to children, the elderly and people with respiratory conditions.