The Bay Area Air Quality Management District said high temperatures exacerbated the problem
A Spare the Air alert was issued on Wednesday, as smoky air and smog blanketed much of the Bay Area. Ian Cull reports.
A Spare the Air alert was issued on Wednesday, as smoky air and smog blanketed much of the Bay Area.
According to the Bay Area Quality Management District, air quality in the East and South Bays dropped to “unhealthy for sensitive groups,” caused by both smog and smoke from fires in Oregon and Northern California.
“Sure, I’ve smelled smoke for the past few days, but I wasn’t sure where it was coming from,” said San Jose resident Sharlee DeAngelo, “but then you hear it on the news, and you assume it’s coming from there. ”
DeAngelo was running errands before the worst of the smog settled on Wednesday. She said she was taking precautions for the sake of her child and because another child was on the way.
“You have to live your life, but it’s always a challenge to balance what’s safe and what’s not,” said DeAngelo.
The district said the high temperatures exacerbated the problem.
“These will be the highest levels during the hottest parts of the day, so we are encouraging residents to avoid outdoor activities during the hottest parts of the day when pollutant levels will be highest,” said Tina Landis, a public information officer. district official.
The haze and smoke were so bad that the Cal Fire CZU unit, which covers parts of San Mateo to Santa Cruz, said it received more than a dozen calls from concerned people.
To confirm there was no fire in the area and to allay people’s fears, especially in the aftermath of the disastrous 2020 CZU Lighting Complex fires, Cal Fire did send some units on Wednesday.
“These are the highest values we have seen this season for wildfire smoke,” said Landis. “But it is not yet getting to the point of exceeding air quality standards. Hopefully not.”
Some Bay Area schools also kept young students indoors during lunch to avoid any risk of the haze causing breathing problems.
While the Spare the Air alert is only active through Wednesday, the district also issued an aerial advisory for wildfire smoke through Thursday.