Unhealthy Smoke From Wildfire Lingers, Spare the Air Issued Through Friday

Wildfire smoke from the Camp Fire in Butte County continues to blanket the Bay Area with unhealthy air, prompting a Spare the Air alert through Friday, air quality officials said.

The hazardous smoke has created unhealthy conditions for much of the region over the past few days, although there were pockets of moderate conditions Sunday morning, said Lisa Fasano, spokeswoman for the Bay Area Air Quality District.

The district's air quality map, updated every hour, showed much of the region in "unhealthy" red on Saturday. Sunday, however, the map shows a mix of the the unhealthy red zones, "unhealthy for sensitive groups" in orange and others in "moderate" yellow.

"There has been a little bit of a respite for some areas," Fasano said. But the weather conditions that are blowing the wildfire smoke to the region from the Butte County blaze and trapping it here are expected to persist through Tuesday, she said.

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District has called a Winter Spare the Air alert through Friday. Wood burning, including manufactured fire logs or any other solid fuel, is banned.

Residents are advised to reduce outdoor activities and to limit exposure to unhealthy air by closing windows and doors. Those with heart or lung disease should stay inside and limit their physical activity, Fasano said.

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.

Many activities and sporting events have been canceled, including the Veterans Day Parade in Fairfield. The Oakland Raiders, however, still played their home game against the Los Angeles Chargers Sunday afternoon.

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


St. Anthony's, a nonprofit social services organization in San Francisco, converted its dining room (121 Golden Gate Ave., San Francisco, CA 94102) into an emergency shelter on Saturday to welcome the homeless population who are in higher risk of exposure.

The Emergency Shelter will be open from 6 p.m. to 8 a.m. through Sunday, closing the morning of Monday, Nov. 12.

In San Mateo County, Human Services Agency Center on Homelessness activated the Inclement Weather Program for the weekend through Tuesday morning, according to Redwood City Parks, Recreation & Community Services.

People can access an indoor shelter cot through Fair Oaks Community Center Saturday until 5 p.m., or via a public safety officer (Redwood City Police Department or San Mateo County Sheriff's Office) after 5 p.m. or over the weekend.

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