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Spare the Air Alert issued for Tuesday as North Coast fires send smoke south

Bay Area faces high temperatures
Bay Area faces high temperatures, Spare the Air Alert 01:52

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Bay Area Air Quality Management District issued a Spare the Air Alert for Tuesday due to smog and smoke impacts from fires burning in Northern California. 

This is the third Spare the Air Alert issued by the BAAQMD this year, officials said.  

Air quality is forecast to be unhealthy Tuesday as wildfire smoke combined with hot inland temperatures and vehicle exhaust are expected to cause unhealthy smog, or ozone, accumulation in the Bay Area. 

"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."  

BAAQMD Air Quality Readings

Bay Area residents are advised if they can smell smoke they should protect their health by avoiding exposure, staying indoors and closing windows and doors if temperatures allow. If temperatures are too hot indoors, residents should visit an air-cooling center or other building that provides filtered air. Those impacted by smoke should set their air conditioning units and car vent systems to re-circulate to prevent outside air from coming inside.

Six Rivers Lightning Complex Fire
Smoke from the Six Rivers Lightning Complex Fire in Humboldt and Trinity counties is drifting toward the Bay Area. KPIX

Smoke can irritate the eyes and airways, causing coughing, a dry scratchy throat and irritated sinuses, while elevated particulate matter in the air can trigger wheezing in those who suffer from asthma, emphysema or COPD. Elderly persons, children and individuals with respiratory illnesses are particularly susceptible to elevated air pollution levels and should take extra precautions to avoid exposure.

Smoke from Northern California wildfires was already impacting the region, creating hazy and smoky skies. An air quality advisory was issued for Monday due to smoke drift into the region, air district officials said Sunday.

Air district officials expect smoke from the Six Rivers Lightning Complex Fire to affect the San Francisco region. The fire is burning in Humboldt and Trinity counties.

Pockets of elevated air pollution are possible, but the air is expected to remain healthy. Skies may be smoky, and residents may smell smoke.

If residents smell smoke they are urged to stay inside, if possible, with doors and windows closed. Air district officials encourage residents with air conditioning to set their home and car units to re-circulate to keep smoke from coming inside.

Real-time air-quality monitoring is available on the BAAQMD website. The Purple Air website also provides localize air-quality data.    

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