Air quality deteriorates due to California wildfires

Cheryl Sanders
October 12, 2017

Above, NASA satellite image showing the massive smoke plumes from the wildfires burning in Wine Country.

Air quality before 7 a.m. Tuesday was rated as moderate in Gilroy, Concord and Livermore.

The bad air has canceled everything from schools to just about any outdoor activity in the area - even bringing to a halt the $100,000 pro tennis tournament being played this week at Solano Community College. Also in Napa County, the Atlas Fire spread to 25,000 acres and the Patrick Fire burned up 1,000 acres.

A smoke health advisory for the Bay Area was issued for the second day in a row Tuesday as multiple North Bay wildfires continue to billow tons of soot into the air.

"We're seeing elevated levels of particulate matter that are higher than we've ever seen since we began measuring that in 2000", said Lisa Fasano of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.

"Due to active wildfires and changing wind patterns, air quality could be impacted for many days to come", air district officials said in a statement.

Air quality specialists said it is particularly unhealthy for sensitive groups such as people with asthma and other respiratory conditions, the elderly and kids. Windows and doors should be kept closed. Buildings with air conditioning units should have them re-circulate to avoid drawing outside air into buildings.

As air quality in parts of the Bay Area has become too unhealthy, residents should avoid air polluting activities like wood burning, lawn mowing and leaf blowing, driving, and barbecuing.

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