SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Rain is in the forecast for next week, meaning smoky air conditions in the Bay Area may be alleviated soon, National Weather Service officials said Friday.

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The storms are expected to start Wednesday and with them will come shifting winds that should push smoke north into Nevada and Idaho instead of south to the Bay Area, forecaster Steve Anderson said. That will be a huge relief for residents here, who have been dealing with worsening air quality for days.

“Rain is going to help out tremendously,” said KPIX 5 meteorologist Paul Deanno. “There should be enough rain up to where the Camp Fire is … maybe even some mountain snow, which is crazy to think, but the snow level could be as low as 5,000 feet … It’s going to help get the stuff out of the air for us, number one, and number two it is going to also help out the Camp Fire in extinguishing the flames.”

The Camp Fire has charred at least 142,000 acres and was 45 percent contained as of Friday morning. At least 71 people have died in the fire and more than 1,000 people are still missing.

The first rain storm is expected to move through the North Bay first on Wednesday and then will move on to the rest of the Bay Area.

A second storm on Friday should drench most of the area. And a third storm is possible over the weekend.

Restrictions on wood burning in the Bay Area have been extended through Tuesday next week, according to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.

The ban is in effect for Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, Santa Clara, southern Sonoma and southwestern Solano counties.

The ban includes wood or other fuels burning in fireplaces, wood stoves and inserts, pellet stoves, outdoor fire pits and other wood-burning devices.

 

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