Wood fires could be banned in homes 

First it was secondhand cigarette smoke and now it's the family fireplace.

Bay Area air quality regulators are considering banning wood fires in residential fireplaces on bad air quality nights, citing evidence that smoke from wood-burning fires cause as much harm as cigarette smoke.

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District announced plans to begin gauging public opinion on rules that would result in a ban on fireplace use about 20 nights a year.

Sacramento County, the San Joaquin Valley and some Bay Area cities have already imposed similar bans, which include stiff fines for violators.

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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