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Bay Area heat: 100-degree temps, smoke triggers air quality alert, thunderstorms possible

Inland parts of Bay Area roasts in triple-digit heat as smog chokes sky over region
Inland parts of Bay Area roasts in triple-digit heat as smog chokes sky over region 03:32

WALNUT CREEK --  Bay Area temperatures soared into triple digits Tuesday afternoon as a short-lived blast of hot air descended on the region.

The still air and sweltering temperatures were combining with a plume of smoke from the Six Rivers Lightning Complex Fire burning in Humboldt and Trinity counties to trigger a Spare the Air day.

"High temperatures, wildfire smoke and tailpipe exhaust are expected to impact our air quality on Tuesday," said Veronica Eady with the BAAQMD. "We can all do our part to help reduce air pollution every day by finding alternatives to driving alone – such as working remotely or taking transit – to keep air quality healthier for all Bay Area residents."   

KPIX 5 First Alert Weather: Current Conditions, Forecasts, Alerts For Your Area

The extreme heat conditions also led KPIX's meteorologists to declare Tuesday a First Alert Weather day and the National Weather Service to issue an heat advisory through 8 p.m. Tuesday. In the Bay Area, the advisory was for North Bay interior mountains, Eastern Santa Clara hills, East Bay hills and East Bay interior valleys.

NWS Meteorologist Sarah McCorkle said places like Discovery Bay, Antioch and Brentwood will likely experience the highest temperatures, but even areas like central Contra Costa County will be affected, with Concord possibly topping out at 104 degrees.  

"Temperatures will peak this Tuesday afternoon with triple-digit values across interior areas of the Bay Area and Central Coast," the National Weather Service predicted. "Gradual cooling is expected through the remainder of the week with temperatures returning to near seasonal averages by the weekend."

Later Tuesday afternoon, the National Weather Service Bay Area office tweeted that there was a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms late Tuesday night into early Wednesday due to moisture in the air and lift, with some of the storms possibly resulting in dry lightning. Though the likelihood for dry lightning was low, it happens to come two years to the day after a series of thunderstorms with set off a catastrophic string of lightning fires across northern California, including the SCU and CZU Lightning Complex Fires.

While the heat will force many local residents to crank up the air conditioning, it also was drying out the drought-stricken hills and fields even more. 

Fire crews across the Bay Area were on heightened alert for any signs of a brushfire.

Cal Fire reported early Tuesday that crews had the Eden Fire under control in Alameda County. In a 5:45 a.m. tweet, officials said the fire was contained to 56.2 acres and that no structures were destroyed.

The blaze was first reported at about 4:20 p.m. Monday near westbound Interstate Highway 580 east of Eden Canyon Road between Castro Valley and Pleasanton. Some structures were threatened but crews halted the fire's progress and none were affected.

Meanwhile, two small separate fires ignited in the tinder-dry hills in Brisbane on Monday night.

The North County Fire Authority said in a news release that the first blaze was reported just before 8 p.m. near 180 West Hill Place.

The second blaze was reported shortly after 9 p.m. on the 2800 block of Bayshore Boulevard.  

Firefighters were able to contain both fires later in the evening, but not before PG&E shut off power to some neighborhoods as a precaution.

The authority said firefighters would remain at the scene overnight to monitor the scene for flare-ups.   

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