By Maria Medina

SAN JOSE (KPIX) – Raging wildfires have sent a thick, heavy layer of smoke across the Bay Area, particularly over the South Bay, parts of the Peninsula, San Francisco and Oakland.

Struggling business owners amid the pandemic, including Sushi Confidential Founder and CEO Randy Musterer, find themselves facing yet another hit in revenue caused by the unhealthy air, ash and heatwave.

Musterer said he cancelled outdoor dinner service after a poor lunch service Wednesday.

“This is our only revenue source besides take out,” Musterer said. “It was just extremely smoky. We had maybe two tables all lunchtime, you know, most people didn’t even want to come out. We figured we’re not going to have any dinner dining tonight.”

At Santana Row, a slight breeze began to move the smoke away from the outdoor mall around 4:30p.m., but by then it was too late for the early dinner rush as well as vendors at the Wednesday’s farmer’s market.

Samuel Escareno, who works at the R&D Farms booth, said that normally there is a line to buy peaches. But the smoke, he said, appeared to keep people away.

Erick Bajaras of Kashiwase Farms agreed. He was afraid he’d return home with fewer empty boxes of fruit than usual.

In a press release, Executive Officer Jack Broadbent of the Air District, said that everyone should be concerned with their respiratory health during the pandemic and to avoid the unhealthy air. According to Spare the Air, cloth masks don’t protect people from smoke particles, and that N95 or P100 masks work the best. However, people have been encouraged to save the masks for those in the medical field.

The smoke-filled skies are expected to linger for the next few days.

“Weekends are a big deal to us and that’s where we can try to bring in whatever we lost during the week,” said Musterer. “So not being able to have outdoor dining, because that’s one of our main revenue sources, that’s going to be tough.”

Related: Bay Area Fires

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