Wildfire smoke continues to blanket Bay Area with unhealthy air


Smoke blanketed most of the Bay Area with unhealthy air quality Thursday as the Wine Country wildfires continued to dirty skies, close some schools, drive people indoors, and send some scurrying to buy air filters at hardware stores.

“The air quality is unhealthy pretty much everywhere in the region,” said Kristine Roselius, a spokeswoman for the nine-county Bay Area Air Quality Management District. “Our advice is stay indoors and close your windows and doors.”

The air district has extended its smoke health advisory for the region through the weekend, the first time in its history that it has issued such a long advisory. Smoke concentrations in the North Bay on Monday soared to the highest levels the Bay Area pollution district ever has recorded.

Overnight sea breezes provided short-term smoke relief for some areas, but the relief may not last long. San Jose smoke air quality that rated as unhealthy Wednesday afternoon was changed Thursday morning to unhealthy for sensitive groups, according to an online air pollution map called AirNow.

On Thursday morning, air quality was rated as unhealthy for much of the North Bay, East Bay, and Peninsula.

Pollution experts said smoke conditions can change rapidly as wind conditions shift. Afternoon winds Thursday are expected to steer more smoke into the Bay Area.

Ray Troper of Danville walked his dog Puck in his neighborhood Thursday morning because he has noticed the smoke this week worsens in his town as the day progresses.

“I can definitely smell the smoke. It’s bad,” Troper said. “But’s it a lot worse in the afternoon. I tried to do some yard work in the afternoon yesterday, and gave up quickly and went indoors because it was so bad.”

The air pollution district has given out more than 20,000 N-95 face masks to its own staff, emergency workers and evacuees from the …read more

Source:: The Mercury News

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