Bay Area covered in thick smoke due to fires, reach unhealthy levels

Wildfires

[FILE] SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 03: The San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge is seen through hazy and smoky conditions on September 03, 2020 in San Francisco, California. The San Francisco Bay Area is experiencing unhealthy air quality as smoke from several wildfires moves through the area. The conditions have prompted the Bay Area Air Quality Management District to issue spare-the-air alerts for 17 consecutive days, breaking the old record of 14 days set back in 2018 during the Camp Fire. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — As crews continue to battle fires throughout the state — the air quality in the Bay Area has reached unhealthy levels.

On Friday, the Bay Area experienced another day of high temperatures and poor air quality as firefighters battled fires nearby — the Glass Fire in Napa and Sonoma counties and the Dolan Fire in Monterey County. 

“Overall the air quality this morning across the Bay Area … we get widespread unhealthy for sensitive groups to unhealthy air,” said Duc Nguyen, Senior Air Quality Meteorologist for the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. 

“Unfortunately in the North Bay especially right along the glass fire perimeter we do have a lot of thick smoke and those areas are also experiencing very unhealthy to the hazardous categories,”

Due to poor weather conditions — a Red Flag Warning by the National Weather Service Bay Area was issued on Thursday through early Saturday for the North Bay Mountains, East Bay Hills, the Diablo Range and Santa Cruz mountains. 

Nguyen says as of Friday most of the state is completely covered by smoke caused by the wildfires, prompting another Spare the Air Alert through next Tuesday — marking it the 44th day this year.

“For now we are only anticipating some clean air just along the coast line,” said Nguyen.

“We are not anticipating air quality improvement, let’s say, in the North Bay because you are in exact proximity of the fires,”

“Also the East Bay including Alameda, Contra Costa County.”

Nguyen tells KRON4 News there is potential good news in the coming days —  as a cold front is expected to arrive in the Bay Area which will bring in cleaner and cooler air. 

“There is a very likelihood that we are going to get much stronger winds and much cooler temperatures,” said Nguyen.

“In terms of Bay Area air quality for the Bay Area … that’s going to be good news for us and potentially that may bring some rain.”

Map showing smoke caused by on-going wildfires burning as they cover the state of California as of Friday (Courtesy: Bay Area Air Quality).

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