Smoke-filled air continued to hang over the Bay Area as the region endures almost an entire month under a Spare the Air alert.
With no relief in the near future, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District on Friday extended the record-breaking Spare the Air alert streak through Monday.
Monday will mark the 28th consecutive Spare the Air alert called as fires continue to burn throughout California and other states, creating unhealthy air.
“A thick blanket of smoke from the many wildfires blazing in California and Oregon is causing unhealthy air quality in the Bay Area,” the air district’s Executive Office Jack Broadbent said in a statement. “More than ever this weekend, residents should track air quality conditions in their communities and protect their health and avoid smoke exposure by staying indoors.”
During the alerts, residents are prohibited from using fireplaces, wood stoves, pellet stoves, and outdoor fire pits or any other wood-burning devices.
The air quality district advised smoke would come down to ground level, making the air a lot more dangerous for people to breathe in.
People are encouraged to stay indoors when they smell smoke and to keep their air systems on recirculate mode.
Officials with the National Weather Service said things may improve late this weekend and early next week with the arrival of a storm system from the north on Saturday.
Recommendations to stay indoors have affected several Bay Area businesses that had reopened outdoor services in the middle of the pandemic.
“I need them to be healthy,” said Patricia Gums from Curio Restaurant in San Francisco, explaining she asked her employees to stay home.
“Who wants to come to work like this? No one does,” she said. “Its very stressful. Specially, you know, in a pandemic.”
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released a map showing how much of the Bay Area is blanketed by smoke. Bad air quality is blanketing the entire state of California. You can see the interactive map here.
Poor air quality may affect people both physically and mentally, and experts advise to work out or do yoga indoors as well as journaling feelings encompassing the current situation.
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.