SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) – The heavy smoke hanging over San Francisco was disappointing many out-of-town visitors while forcing some local residents to get away from the Bay Area in hopes of finding fresh air.

Doris Alagha and her family of four flew all the way from Sydney, Australia to see San Francisco, but many of those sights are no longer visible.


“We came down for our Alcatraz tour. It was cancelled because of the smoke,” said Alagha.

Alcatraz was just one local attraction shut down due to the poor air quality. Golden Gate National Recreation Area including Alcatraz Island, Fort Point National Historic Site and Muir Woods National Monument have suspended visitor operations through Sunday.

Around Fisherman’s Wharf, tourists are donning masks like much of the rest of the bay area, removing them just long enough to take a quick selfie in front of a local landmark.

“It’s a bummer! It’s really bad. I couldn’t believe it when i got off the plane and could smell it instantly,” said Melissa Hayes, who flew in from San Diego.

As tourists try to make the most of their time in SF, many locals are looking for ways to escape the bad air.

KPIX spoke with San Francisco residents who were traveling to Lake Tahoe and Eugene, Oregon.

Tahoe is one of the best bets for cleaner air this weekend. The statewide AQI map shows the bad air bleeds over California’s northern border and into Oregon and about as far south as Bakersfield.

At SFO many travelers were headed out for the upcoming holiday, thankful to be headed somewhere colder and clearer.

“Going to Chicago. The air will be cold, but at least you can breathe it in,” said San Francisco resident Melanie Markay.