Air Quality

Spare the Air Alert Extended Through Sunday Due to Wildfire Smoke

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The Bay Area Air Quality Management District extended a Spare the Air alert through Sunday due wildfire smoke drifting into the region and making the air unhealthy, especially for sensitive groups.

Smoke from wildfires across California and further north in Oregon and Washington have prompted several air quality advisories as well as Spare the Air alerts in the region in recent weeks.

Air district officials say that the air quality is forecast to be unhealthy for sensitive groups on the Air Quality Index in most of the Bay Area and wood burning is banned. Last week, excessive levels of smoke prompted the district to issue Spare the Air alerts.

During Spare the Air alerts, the air district advises people to stay inside with windows and doors closed and to set air conditioning and car vent systems to recirculate.

Smoke can irritate the eyes and airways, causing coughing, a dry scratchy throat and irritated sinuses, the air district said. Elevated particulate matter in the air can 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.

The latest air quality readings in the region can be found on the air district's website.

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