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Air quality still ‘unhealthy’ for Bay Area

Official urge residents near Camp Fire to boil water before using

Los Angeles Chargers v Oakland Raiders
Fans wear face masks in the stands during Sunday’s football game at the Oakland Coliseum.
Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

As firefighters continue to battle the 125,000-acre Camp Fire blaze in Butte County, a wide plume of smoke continues to blanket the Bay Area and beyond. As of Monday, air quality remains “unhealthy” for San Francisco, Marin, Oakland, and the rest of the Bay Area.

Due to the smoky skies, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District called for a winter Spare the Air alert extension for Tuesday, November 13 through Friday, November 16. This means that it’s illegal to burn wood, manufactured fire logs, pellets, or any other solid fuels in your fireplace, wood stove, or outdoor fire pit.

Many residents have taken to wearing face masks in an effort to reduce the amount of particulate matter entering the lungs. But not all face masks work equally. You should look for particulate respirator masks, which are labeled NIOSH-approved, and marked as N95, N100, or P100.

A scarf or bandana covering the mouth will simply not do.

Masks can be found at local hardware and medical supply stores, as well as Home Depot, Lowe’s, or on Amazon. Most local hardware stores have replenished their stock this week. Be sure to call ahead before heading into a store.

Officials are also warning some residents around the Camp Fire burn areas to boil their water before using for any type of consumption.

The Paradise Irrigation District and State Water Resources Control Board’s Division of Drinking Water warns that water may not be safe to drink in certain areas.

Customers who live in these areas should boil tap water, or use bottled water, used for drinking and cooking: Paradise Pines, Magalia, Lime Saddle, Stirling Bluffs, and Buzztail.