News


Smoke from Northern California fires coming down Peninsula

Smoke expected to persist until Monday

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.

The smoke is coming from a series of fires in Lake County and other fire complexes west and south of Redding. Updated smoke maps can be found here.

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.

Comments

7 people like this
Posted by Flash
a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 15, 2015 at 11:07 am

Quite noticeable, but puzzling, in Downtown North; thanks for clearing up the mystery.


9 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 15, 2015 at 11:56 am

Is the smoke dangerous to people who are outdoors this weekend? Especially thinking about kids and seniors.


5 people like this
Posted by Parent
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 15, 2015 at 12:51 pm

@resident:

It depends. Some people are more sensitive to airborne particulate matter than others.

The best advice is to limit strenuous activities outdoors, especially if you are known to have respiratory problems when these sort of instances occur. After all, this is not the first time we have had drift smoke from wildfires.

Use your best judgment, the authorities don't always have an answer that suits everyone's needs.


12 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 15, 2015 at 1:45 pm

The Spare the Air folks are forecasting high pollution today and dangerous levels tomorrow for the Santa Clara Valley: Web Link


15 people like this
Posted by Agenda
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 15, 2015 at 2:04 pm

[Post removed.]


13 people like this
Posted by Parent
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 15, 2015 at 2:33 pm

[Post removed.]


7 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Aug 15, 2015 at 3:04 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


6 people like this
Posted by Pam
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 15, 2015 at 3:16 pm

Thank you for the update - so sad though


12 people like this
Posted by Gasp
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 15, 2015 at 5:23 pm

All I care about right now is the fact that since early this morning, my son and I have been wheezing in spite of inhalers and air conditioning!

Weekends are never a good time to get sick.


2 people like this
Posted by pricedout
a resident of another community
on Aug 15, 2015 at 7:33 pm

it's hard to know what to say/write, so difficult. This is a bad situation for us but for others it is much worse. Sometimes it is hard to remember that.


2 people like this
Posted by RW
a resident of another community
on Aug 15, 2015 at 10:25 pm

Very hazy in Santa Clara today. The heat didn't help, I'm sure.


1 person likes this
Posted by Asthma
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 16, 2015 at 2:44 am

Based on peak flow data and symptoms, the air is still way less of a problem than the indoor air in our middle school.

The heat, though. Can't sleep.


Posted by Teacher
a resident of JLS Middle School

on Aug 16, 2015 at 8:12 am


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