Smoke from the massive wildfires in Northern California is now reaching the Bay Area, prompting an alert from public officials on Saturday morning, Aug. 15.
San Mateo County sent an alert at about 9:15 a.m. advising residents that smoke from the fires was coming through the county and was in Pacifica. No fires are in the county, the message noted.
By 10:15 a.m. a haze was blanketing the Bay Area including parts of Santa Clara County. It is currently obscuring views of the Santa Cruz Mountains and mountains east across San Francisco Bay. Visibility was about five miles.
Palo Alto police said that no health advisories have been issued as a result of the drift smoke.
Ryan Walbrun, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said that while the Rocky and Jerusalem fires in Lake County were still creating smoke, the majority of the smoke drifting into the Bay Area today is from wildfire activity in Trinity County, near the Oregon border.
That smoke was carried down through the Sacramento Valley by a north wind, according to Walbrun. With no storm on the immediate horizon, the smoke will likely linger in the Bay Area until carried out to sea by offshore breezes.
"I wouldn't really expect any improvement tomorrow with the fires and the wind pattern," Walbrun said. "Hopefully if we get a little west wind by Monday afternoon that will start to filter things out."
A Spare the Air Alert has been issued for Sunday due to concerns about smog, but a representative for the Bay Area Air Quality Management District said the wildfires were not a factor in that decision.