As smoke from wildfires continues to cover the Bay Area, officials with the Bay Area Air Quality Management District on Friday extended a Spare the Air alert through Monday, Sept. 14.
Monday will mark the 28th consecutive Spare the Air alert called as fires continue to burn throughout California and other states, creating unhealthy air.
During the alerts, residents are prohibited from using fireplaces, wood stoves, pellet stoves, and outdoor fire pits or any other wood-burning devices, and urged to stay indoors.
"A thick blanket of smoke from the many wildfires blazing in California and Oregon is causing unhealthy air quality in the Bay Area," the air district's Executive Officer Jack Broadbent said in a statement. "More than ever this weekend, residents should track air quality conditions in their communities and protect their health and avoid smoke exposure by staying indoors."
Air quality readings around the region Friday morning were unhealthy for everyone in Oakland and Berkeley, unhealthy for some in San Francisco yet good in Hayward and San Ramon. In San Rafael and Vallejo, it was unhealthy for everyone and in Walnut Creek unhealthy for some. In Redwood City and San Jose, it was unhealthy for some.
"In the past seven days alone, we have dealt with a heat wave, dark skies, continued poor air quality, and all the while we are still responding to a global pandemic. Yesterday we reached purple, which is very unhealthy levels of poor air quality and we expect to have this poor air quality today and potentially through the weekend," San Francisco Department of Emergency Management Executive Director Mary Ellen Carroll said Friday.
Residents are being urged to stay indoors and keep their windows and doors closed.
Officials with the National Weather Service said conditions may improve late this weekend and early next week with the arrival of a storm system from the north on Saturday.
People can find out when a Spare the Air alert is in effect by visiting sparetheair.org, calling 800-HELP-AIR (4357-247), downloading the Spare the Air smartphone app for iPhone or Android devices or connecting with Spare the Air on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.