Due to smoke from the northernmost California and Oregon wildfires entering the region on Tuesday and Wednesday, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District issued an air quality advisory for both days.
Although air district officials warned that hazy or smoky skies and the smell of smoke are likely in some areas of the Bay Area, smoke from the wildfires is not expected to exceed national health standards or cause a Spare the Air alert.
By early afternoon, the Bay Area was covered in a thick haze of smoke and locals could smell and feel the effects of the poor air quality.
The air district recommends anyone who smells smoke stay indoors with windows and doors closed and turn air conditioners and car ventilation systems on to recirculate to prevent outside air from entering the building.
A health notice has been issued
– NWS Bay Area 🌉 (@NWSBayArea) September 19, 2023
Sonoma County even went so far as to issue a health advisory for Tuesday, September 19 through Wednesday, September 20 due to poor air quality from smoke.
According to county officials, air quality is forecast to be at a moderate level for the next two days. “Smoke can harm the health of certain people. Members of vulnerable groups “may experience more serious effects,” the alert warns.
“Avoid prolonged outdoor exercise if you have a heart condition, are pregnant, have a child, or have a respiratory condition.
Everyone else should avoid excessive outdoor activity, especially children. When doing outdoor activities, take extra breaks.
Residents were ordered to stay still if possible and to turn on air conditioners and car ventilation systems again to prevent outside air from entering.
The Bay Area branch of the National Weather Service warned that the smoke could linger for several days.
Similar advice was given to San Francisco locals on Tuesday afternoon, warning people sensitive to smoke to consider changing their outdoor plans.
This is what Paul Heggen observed
—Paul Heggen (@PaulKPIX) September 20, 2023
KPIX Chief Meteorologist Paul Heggen noted that the BAAQMD had not yet issued a Spare the Air advisory despite the extremely poor air quality detected in San Francisco.
Although an air quality alert for wildfire smoke was issued as of Wednesday, the BAAQMD website states: “Pollutant levels are NOT expected to exceed the 24-hour national health standard, and there is no alert of Spare the Air”.
According to the air district, the smoke is coming from several fires, many of which were sparked by lightning in August in far northern California and southern Oregon. According to McCorkle, radar indicated that the Redwood and SRF lightning complexes, which span Del Norte and Humboldt counties, were the primary sources of smoke.
As of Tuesday afternoon, it has burned 27,573 acres and is at 7% containment. According to the air district, smoke from the Oregon-based Anvil Fire is also reaching California.
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