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Terrible Bay Area air quality grows worse

No end in sight to unhealthy regional haze as fires continue

A ferry boat makes its way toward Alcatraz Island as the skyline is obscured by wildfire smoke on Monday.
Photo by AP Photo/Eric Risberg

Once again San Francisco residents must brace themselves for a smoky, hazy, and entirely unhealthy day, as smoke from the ever-growing and more destructive Camp Fire continues to blanket the region.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s AirNow site measures local air quality at 169 on the 500-point Air Quality Index Tuesday morning.

That’s within the spectrum that the EPA considers “unhealthy” for all living creatures; in fact, it’s worse than Monday’s conditions at around the same time

Oakland and the entirety of the North Bay are seeing similar foul skies, while some parts of the East Bay, South Bay, and Peninsula showcase slightly clearer skies, ranging from “moderate” quality in places like Vacaville and some parts of Santa Clara County up to “unhealthy for sensitive groups” in San Jose and parts of Contra Costa County.

However, the daily forecast predicts that “unhealthy”-grade air will spread across the region as the day continues.

Residents should keep doors and windows closed and minimize time spent outside.

It’s recommended to invest in an appropriate grade of face mask (see here for details), and to pay particular attention to the very young, the elderly, the ill, and those who suffer from chronic respiratory problems.