SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — The large smoke plume from the 14,000-acre Mineral Fire burning in Fresno County near Coalinga began drifting into the San Francisco Bay Area early Wednesday, National Weather Service forecasters warned.
The National Weather Service said the smoke plume would be drifting and collecting over the East Bay until offshore breezes will blow it further inland by Wednesday evening.
Smoke has been added to today's forecast for portions of the #BayArea. Nearby #MineralFire in Merced County and western Fresno County is producing smoke, which is drifting west and north. Here's a look at the HRRR smoke model forecast for today. #CAwx #FireWx #CAfire pic.twitter.com/HEMNC2xffL
— NWS Bay Area (@NWSBayArea) July 15, 2020
The Bay Area Air Quality Management District extended an air quality advisory through Friday because of smoke from the Mineral Fire. Smoke will likely remain aloft resulting in smoky and hazy skies, and the air district said it would be closely monitoring air quality throughout the region for smoke impacts from the fire.
Bay Area residents were urged to avoid exposure to the smoke and if possible, stay inside with windows and doors closed until smoke levels subside. The air quality district also recommended that those impacted by smoke set their air conditioning units and car vent systems to re-circulate to prevent outside air from moving inside.
The Mineral Fire erupted Monday around 3:31 p.m. near Highway 198 and Coalinga Mineral Springs Road and had grown to over 14,000 acres with just 15 percent containment by late Wednesday.
According to a Cal Fire status update, the fire was burning in “difficult to access areas an din fuels with no fire history. Containment efforts will be hampered due to extreme fire behavior.”
Calfire said the blaze was “running upslope & wind driven rapidly at times.”
— CoRo (@RolinCoth1) July 14, 2020
The blaze was threatening at least 50 structures with the community of Bingham Springs forced to evacuate. Residents along Los Gatos Creek Road from Indian Springs to Union Carbide Road were also forced to leave their homes.
— Olen Hogenson KMPH (@olenhogenson) July 15, 2020
Highway 198 has also been closed from Firestone Ave. to the Monterey County line.
A temporary evacuation center has been set up at West Hills College’s Coalinga campus.
A total of 555 personnel consisting of 38 engines, 24 dozers, 14 hand crews, 10 helicopters, and numerous air tankers from throughout the state were battling the blaze.