Bay Space Air High quality Advisory Prolonged into Saturday Attributable to Wildfire Smoke – CBS San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – The Bay Area Air Quality Management District issued another air quality recommendation for the region due to forest fire smoke for Saturday.

It is the fourth day in a row that the BAAQMD has placed the Bay Area under an air quality recommendation. The region has also been under a Spare the Air Alert since Thursday – which prohibits burning wood or other solid fuels both indoors and outdoors. The Spare the Air Alert expires after Friday.

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Today, 08/20, Save the Air Alert! The air quality in the Bay Area is expected to be unhealthy for sensitive groups in all regions. Tomorrow, 08/21, air quality advice! The air quality is expected to be good in Coast and Central Bay and South Central Bay, and moderate in all other regions.

– Bay Area Air Quality (@AirDistrict) August 20, 2021

According to a press release issued by BAAQMD, smoke from wildfires in Washington, Oregon and Northern California, which moved offshore since the middle of the week, will continue to affect the Bay Area on Saturday.

“We look at the unhealthy air quality down on the ground. We assume that in the orange category it will be unhealthy for sensitive groups, ”BAAQMD spokesman Aaron Richardson told KPIX 5.

The smoky air was inevitable for anyone outside in the Bay Area on Friday.

“You have this heavy feeling in your chest and it’s not an allergy,” said Kim Vostermans, who went on a bike ride with her friend Kelly Hodge in Campbell.

“It’s hard to exercise, it’s hard to walk, walk the dog, ride a bike. It’s hard to eat outside in this heat with the doors and windows open. It’s a shame, but again, we’re not the ones trying to fight the fires, ”Hodge told KPIX 5.

Rod Pomales rode his bike hard up Alum Rock Avenue in San Jose, the bad air in his eyes. “I can smell it a little. I don’t feel it, ”said Pomales.

The organizers of Campbell’s Boogie Music Festival – which has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic – are now hoping the air quality won’t keep people away this weekend.

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“I hope the wind picks up a little tonight and turns a little,” said Ken Johnson of the Campbell Chamber of Commerce.

Masks are optional at the festival but are now preferred for several reasons, including smoke.

“It will possibly give people a bigger reason to put their masks on when they didn’t want to. So the hope is to have fun and be safe, ”said Johnson.

The fires in Northern California burned more than 1 million acres, or 2,000 square miles, during this devastating fire season. The Dixie Fire – which is spread across five counties – burned over 700,000 acres alone.

The McFarlane fire in Counties Shasta, Trinity and Tehama burned nearly 116,000 acres, while the Caldor Fire in Sierra Nevada grew again overnight and has now consumed over 73,000 acres, firefighters said Friday.

The persistent smoke hovering over the area will cause foggy, smoky skies with a noticeable odor in the air in some areas, despite officials saying pollution levels were not expected to exceed federal health standards. The air quality in the air quality index is expected to be in the good to low medium range, so there is no Spare the Air Alert for Saturday.

The Air District will continue to monitor air quality across the region for smoke effects from ongoing forest fires.

If the smell of smoke is noticeable, Bay Area residents are advised to protect their health by avoiding exposure. All residents – especially those with breathing problems – are advised to stay indoors with the windows and doors closed until the smoke subsides, if temperatures allow. The BAAQMD also recommends that those affected by smoke turn their air conditioning and car ventilation systems on to recirculation to prevent outside air from getting inside.

Residents can track changes in air quality at or on the AirNow Fire and Smoke Map at

To find out when a spare-the-air alert is in effect, residents can register for text alerts by sending the word “START” to 817-57, register for email AirAlerts at, 1 Call (800) HELP-AIR, download the Spare the Air app or connect with Spare the Air on Facebook or Twitter.

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Len Ramirez contributed to this report.

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