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Bay Area air quality bad but getting slightly better

Region continues to have unhealthy air

A man covers his nose and mouth while walking through the Financial District in the smoke-filled air.
Photo by AP Photo/Eric Risberg

As smoke and haze continue to blanket the Bay Area from the deadly and destructive Camp Fire, which has claimed at least 48 lives and torched more than 130,000 acres, residents should brace for another day of unhealthy air quality.

Environmental Protection Agency’s AirNow site measures local air quality at 160 on the 500-point Air Quality Index Wednesday morning. That’s a lower number compared to Tuesday’s 69.

However, said number is still within the spectrum that the EPA labels “unhealthy.”

“People with heart or lung disease, older adults, and children should avoid prolonged or heavy exertion,” warns the agency. “Everyone else should reduce prolonged or heavy exertion.”

Oakland, San Francisco, and Marin will see putrid skies today just like Tuesday, while parts of Silicon Valley and North Bay will see “moderate” skies—a slightly better air quality today than yesterday.

Denizens should keep doors and windows closed and minimize time spent outside. It’s also recommended to invest in an appropriate grade of face mask (see here for details).

The blaze than began Thursday destroyed more then 7,000 homes and resulted in the immediate evacuation of tens of thousands of residents in Butte County.

Image via EPA