Heavy smoke from Camp Fire prompts Spare the Air alert


Heavy smoke from the Camp Fire in Butte County has caused hazy conditions, especially in the North and East Bay, prompting a Winter Spare the Air Alert today.

“Burning wood, including manufactured fire logs or any other solid fuel, indoors or outdoors, is banned during this Winter Spare the Air Alert,” the Bay Area Air Quality Management District stated.

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The district further explained the haze hanging over the region:

“Heavy smoke from the Camp Fire in Butte County is causing very elevated levels of particulate pollution in the region, especially in the North and East Bay. A high-pressure system in place over Northern California and northeasterly winds are quickly moving smoke into the region and trapping it at the ground level, causing significant air quality impacts.”

Despite the conditions, all West Contra Costa Unified schools remain open today, although outdoor activities will be limited as district officials continually monitor air quality.

The City of Richmond offered the following suggestions for those with respiratory challenges:

  • Close windows, air vents, and fireplace dampers
  • Turn off whole house fans, heating and air conditioning systems
  • Don’t forget to bring your pets inside too
  • Continue to monitor the news outlets, radio, internet or other mediums for updates
  • Call 911 if you need to report a life-threatening condition or event

Stay up to date on the current air quality by visiting the BAAQMD website or checking AirNow.gov’s monitoring tool.

Photo of the hazy skies over Richmond this morning courtesy of Mike Kinney.


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