As Smoke Returns, Bay Area Air Quality Expected to Worsen Over Next Few Days


“Wildfire smoke can be unpredictable,” Juan Romero, an air district spokesperson, told KQED. “So we tell people to take the precautions necessary to avoid exposure. If you smell the smoke, stay indoors with your windows and doors closed if you can.”

Romero also recommended setting air conditioners to recirculate air, and said people with respiratory diseases like asthma should take extra care.

By late Tuesday afternoon, as the smoke thickened, San Francisco’s Department of Emergency Management said air quality had reached the ‘unhealthy for sensitive groups’ threshold and encouraged residents to wear face coverings when going outside.

By 5 p.m., readings at official air monitoring sites in San Francisco and West Oakland had reached the red, “unhealthy” category, with PM2.5 indexes of 161 and 154, respectively.

A low-pressure system is expected to continue drawing smoke from the far-northern wildfires, with northerly and northeasterly winds carrying it down the coast as far south as Central California over the next few days, according to the National Weather Service.

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