San Francisco

Unhealthy Air Quality in Bay Area Due to Smoke from Kincade and Grizzly Island Fires

Heavy winds are pushing smoke from multiple raging wildfires into the Bay Area, and it could take some time for all that smoke to clear out.

The smoke was so thick in the East Bay, the air quality was rated "unhealthy" for everyone. In the Oakland Hills, heavy smoke could be seen over the Bay on Monday blocking out the San Francisco skyline.

On Tuesday, the air quality index will improve, but not by much. The air quality will still be unhealthy for seniors and children.

The poor air quality is due to smoke from the Kincade Fire in Sonoma County and smoke from the Grizzly Island Fire in Solano County. Both fires are mixing together to create a blanket of smoke that is clogging up the Bay Area.

"Me and my roommate are both chronically ill and we both get really bad migraines, so you can feel it before you can smell it," Oakland-resident Rafi Darrow said.

For workers in downtown Oakland, respirator masks designed to filter out particles became part of the office dress code.

Public health officials are advising people with respiratory illnesses to stay indoors, preferably in a room with an air filter. Air quality experts say too much exposure to these dangerous level of particles in the air can even trigger asthma attacks.

Recess was moved indoors for schools in the Oakland Unified School District. The Bay Area Air Quality Management District issued Spare the Air alerts for Monday and Tuesday.

So how does the current air quality compare to the bad air last year during the height of the Camp Fire? The Bay Area Air Quality Management District says the air quality then was a lot worse. That bad air was more widespread and there were more dangerous particles.

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