As PG&E prepares for another Public Safety Power Shutoff throughout the state, the Santa Clara County Public Health Department is urging county residents to prepare for possible poor air quality this weekend.
Some PG&E customers in the Palo Alto foothills are within the impact zone for the power shutoff, according to a city announcement issued Friday.
"The air quality is great right now," Sara Cody, director of the county's Public Health Department, said during a news conference Friday. "The main message is we want people to plan ahead. We don't want to wait until we're all uncomfortable."
As the Kincade Fire grew to 21,900 acres in Sonoma County, Cody warned of a possible wind change on Saturday that could bring heavy smoke and poorer air quality to the South Bay this weekend. Information on how to protect indoor air quality from smoke is available on the Environmental Protection Agency website.
She encouraged residents to "think about friends and family that are vulnerable," who, for example, may lose power to ventilators and respirators following a power shutoff at their home.
Cody urged those with such devices to prepare backup power for their devices, should a shutoff hit their area.
As of Friday morning, containment of the Kincade Fire was at 5%, according to Cal Fire.
"Some people who are really vulnerable may want to move," Cody added. "It may not be great for them to stay in a home that's smoky with no power."
Smoke from the wildfire led the Bay Area Air Quality Management District to extend a Spare the Air alert through Saturday for the entire region.
PG&E anticipates the shutoffs could last from Saturday night through Monday morning.
A list of affected areas and counties will be updated throughout the weekend on PG&E's website.