People Head to the Beach to Escape Heat, Smoke

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Hot, dry weather and smoke filled skies have become a familiar pattern that a lot of us were happy to get rid of for at least a couple weeks.

Bay Area residents were just getting a break from the heat and smoke from wildfires earlier this month.

Now, as the Glass Fire in Napa County continues to burn, people are heading to the beach to escape the heat and smoke in the area.

Many parts of San Francisco reached summer-like temperatures, but Ocean Beach was 15 degrees cooler than the rest of the city.

"The beach is always fun and I like the waves and the boogie boarding and surfing here," said Matus Vecera who drove to the beach with his family all the way from Fulton. "It’s a nice retreat from school and COVID and everything."

Despite relatively clear skies and a refreshing, cool breeze, air quality experts warn that winds may shift in an unfavorable condition this week, and we are technically just getting fire season started.

"We had over 30 alerts in September already, and September isn’t traditionally fire season," said Raplh Borrmann from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. "Fire season typically starts the month of October."

The northern part of the Bay is experiencing the worst air quality in the region with wind pushing a lot of smoke out over the ocean, thus causing it to pool in a reservoir.

It was still blue skies in San Francisco late Monday afternoon, but the people there are keeping their northern neighbors in their hearts and remaining grateful for the clean air they can breathe today.

“I think it’s terrible. I feel for the people who live there. They lose everything and some of them don’t have insurance and they have to rebuild. We’re lucky we have our house here. It could happen anywhere," said Louis Cabral of San Francisco.

And Erica Fuchs of San Francisco said, “You get so much nicer air when you’re down here. There’s not that many people. It is hard to stay active in this time when we’re supposed to be home, so it feels pretty safe in general.”

Several cooling centers are open across the city as these high temps continue. Most of them are open from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

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