WALNUT CREEK (KPIX) — Bay Area residents are advised to keep their windows and doors shut through Saturday as wildfire smoke continues to plague the area.
The Bay Area Air Quality Management District announced Friday it was extending an air quality advisory issued earlier this week until Saturday due to smoke from the McFarland, Monument and River Complex fires further north in California.
Bay Area residents suspected it was only a matter of time until the smoke headed this way and the farther inland you were on Friday the more you noticed the haze in the sky.
“I just came from Oakland — came through the Caldecott Tunnel — and got out of the car and it hit me like a ton of bricks,” said Gregory Copeland from Oakland.
“It’s just really sad. It’s like this every year. It’s like we can never get a year away from it,” said Olivia Lawry from Walnut Creek.
“I think it’s frustrating, it makes the air quality poor but, at the same time, this is California, what are you going to do?” Nina Clark asked.
While some children played at Heather Farms Park in Walnut Creek Friday evening, many parents decided to keep their kids indoors during the day as a precaution.
“I work at a school so, with the kids, we just wanted to be careful,” said Shane Moser.
One couple from San Francisco plan to be married in Walnut Creek this weekend. They will likely celebrate the big day with family and friends under smoky skies.
“I feel like it’s not going to impact it too much and the smokiness — it will be outdoors but it won’t be ideal,” said bride-to-be Trina Ton.
Walter Wallace, with the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, says that, at this point, there’s no reason to be alarmed.
“I do understand that people are seeing the hazy skies at the higher elevations but rest assured that a lot of that smoke is actually aloft,” he said.
Wallace explained the best way to tell if the smoke is affecting air quality is by taking the smell test. If you can smell it, limit outdoor activities, especially if you have a pre-existing condition.
Bay Area residents can stay up to date with air quality readings by visiting http://baaqmd.gov/highs
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