Bay Area Air Quality ‘Unhealthy' Due to Butte County Wildfire

The Bay Area Quality Management District has issued a Winter Spare the Air Alert through to Monday due to heavy smoke blowing into the Bay Area from a fire in Butte County.

The alert was issued Thursday night in response to the Camp Fire, which as of Saturday morning had burned approximately 100,000 acres and was 20 percent contained, according to Cal Fire officials.

Heavy smoke from the fire is causing elevated levels of particulate pollution in the region and is especially impacting the North Bay and East Bay, officials said. 

Cal/OSHA is advising employers to take special precautions to protect outdoor workers.

Smoke from wildfires contains chemicals, gases and fine particles that are harmful. The biggest hazard is from breathing in the fine particles, which can reduce lung function, worsen asthma and exacerbate existing heart and lung conditions, officials say.

The outdoor and indoor burning of wood or any other solid fuel is banned during this Winter Spare the Air Alert.

San Francisco Fire Department recommends contacting your health care provider if you experience the following symptoms:

• Repeated coughing
• Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
• Wheezing
• Chest tightness or pain
• Palpitations
• Nausea or unusual fatigue
• Lightheadedness

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