SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Air quality officials have extended a Spare the Air qlert due to wildfire smoke from the historic August Complex blaze drifting over the San Francisco Bay Area through Tuesday.
A weather system that arrived in the region has shifted the winds to the north.
“Unfortunately, fires inside and outside of the region are still producing smoke and impacting air quality here in the Bay Area,” said Jack Broadbent, executive officer of the Air District. “This is a reminder that we are still in wildfire season and we must remain vigilant and stay indoors when smoke is impacting air quality to protect our health.”
Air quality alerts have become quite common for Bay Area residents during this historic outbreak of wildfires in the San Francisco Bay Area and other regions of Northern California dating back to mid-August.
By Saturday, the August Complex fire had grown to 1,024,092 acres — the largest wildfire outbreak in state history — and was 67 percent contained. It was started by August dry lightning strikes in the Mendocino National Forest and has been burning in rural areas of Mendocino, Humboldt, Trinity, Tehama, Glenn, Lake and Colusa counties.
Online Air Quality Resources:
- Bay Area Air Quality Management District
- BAAQMD Current Air Quality
- EPA AirNow
- Purple Air – A good way to track trends in air quality related to particulate matter, but the sensors may register higher numbers than the air actual air quality.
Smoke can irritate the eyes and airways, causing coughing, a dry scratchy throat and irritated sinuses, air quality officials warned.
Elevated particulate matter in the air can also trigger wheezing in those who suffer from asthma, emphysema or COPD. Elderly persons, children and individuals with respiratory illnesses are particularly susceptible to elevated air pollution levels and should take extra precautions to avoid exposure.