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It's a Bad Day to Breathe

Bay Area Air Quality Plagued By Smoke

KCBS Radio Morning News
August 08, 2018 - 8:32 am

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS Radio) -- Thursday is expected to bring the worst air quality of the week to many Bay Area communities. The National Weather Service has posted an Air Quality Advisory and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District has added a Spare the Air Day alert.

The culprit is the combination of smoke from a number of fires burning north and east of the Bay Area and upper-level winds steering the smoke.

"We're going to continue to see winds out of the north and the east," said National Weather Service meteorologist Roger Goss, "bringing smoke from all of the fires across the state our way."

Air quality maps provided by the US Environmental Protection Agency's AirNow website indicate the heaviest particulate concentrations would be in the North Bay, the Santa Clara Valley, and the valleys east of the East Bay hills.

In general, air quality has been worse at higher elevations rather than at ground level, but the visual impact of the smoke is noticeable everywhere.

As for the fires generating the smoke, the main culrpit is the Mendocino Complex fires near Clear Lake. On Wednesday morning, Cal Fire reported the combined acreage of the Ranch and River Fires had passed the 300,000 mark. Already the largest wildfire in state history, the blaze consumed 10,000 acres in the previous 24 hours.