BURLINGAME (KPIX) — Tuesday’s blue skies seemed like a novelty after a week of otherworldly phenomena due to unhealthy air.
“It’s really a relief, I thought it would never end, honestly,” said Emma Gubbels of Burlingame.
It was the first time many people spent leisurely time out in downtown Burlingame.
“Even with COVID, you could go in your backyard, but you couldn’t really even go outside, so it was kind of sad,” said Katie Rau of Burlingame.
Some businesses chose to limit their hours or close completely due to the hazardous air over the last few days.
Others stayed open, like Caffe Central, but sales dropped 75 percent, at first. But repeat customers are back.
“We have regular customer that come out, since they work from home they like to sit at the cafe outside and use the laptop. It is the best that can happen to us obviously to see them back and they feel comfortable to sit,” said Owner Ramin Vahabi.
La Vie Nail Bar on Burlingame Avenue said business jumped 30 percent on Tuesday.
“This is heaven,” said Anne Pernichele of Portland.
She just flew in from Oregon, where fierce wildfires are raging.
“It was super smoky and smoggy. You couldn’t see more than across the street from the house to read the stop sign, not even 100 feet of visibility up there,” she added.
The air quality index in Burlingame was good, but the fires are not completely out, so conditions can change.
“It has been really difficult, not too sure what else we can take – COVID, heat, smoke, air, what’s next – winter?” added Vahabi.
The Bay Area’s Spare The Air alert runs through Wednesday, making it a record-breaking 30 straight days.