The hazy smoky skies of San Jose can be blamed on a fire hundreds of miles away. Chase Cain explains.
A fire at a hay field burning north of Vacaville is sending plumes of smoke into the air near a major interstate and impacting air quality in the Bay Area.
The San Jose Fire Department told NBC Bay Area Friday the department had received a number of calls from Santa Clara Valley residents concerned about smoke. SJFD says there’s no fire in San Jose: it’s smoke blowing into the valley from the fire burning near the Yolo County city of Winters.
Officials in the East Bay city of Pleasanton took to Twitter to warn its residents that smoke from the hay fire may impact air quality for the next couple of days.
The fire is burning far from San Jose, but it was smoky enough in the South Bay on Friday that Bret Harte Middle School decided to limit time outside for students.
"Their safety is always my first priority, and I wouldn't be having our students participate in anything that wasn't safe,” Bret Harte Principal Cindy Maijala said.
Even the Monterey bureau of the National Weather Service reported a smell of smoke on its Twitter feed.
Interstate 505 near Winters remained open on Friday morning despite the blaze. Winters is about 30 miles west of Sacramento.
The fire is burning at Hay Kingdom, a hay exporting company.
Fire officials tell KCRA-TV the blaze began on Thursday night and has consumed about 10 acres of stored hay. Three hay barn structures have been destroyed, but crews have been able to protect Hay Kingdom's main processing facility.
The cause of the blaze has not been determined.
NBC Bay Area meteorologist Christina Loren says, if you can smell smoke, it's a good idea to stay indoors, particularly if you suffer from asthma or respiratory issues.
“If you can avoid being outside, do,” said the Santa Clara County Public Health Department’s Dr. Sara Cody. “It's certainly not the day to pick if you're training for a marathon.”
Meteorologist Rob Mayeda said the poorest air quality Friday was in the Tri Valley and South Bay, though shifting wind directions could blow the smoke out of our area by Saturday afternoon.
Major fire at a hay storage yard in Yolo County impacting Pleasanton air quality. North winds blowing smoke our way. Fire may last 2 days
— City of Pleasanton (@pleasantonca) September 27, 2013
— Chase Cain (@ChaseCainTV) September 27, 2013
— NWSBayArea (@NWSBayArea) September 27, 2013