Wildfire smoke to linger through Saturday, causing more pollution than expected

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District has issued Spare the Air alerts for Friday and Saturday after wildfire smoke in the region caused more pollution than previously anticipated.

On Thursday, the air district had issued an air quality advisory for both days, saying pollution levels from the wildfires burning across California were forecast to cause moderate air quality but it was not expected to exceed federal health standards.

By Friday afternoon, air quality monitoring put pollution levels in the “orange,” or “unhealthy for sensitive groups” band.

Shortly after 2:30 pm, Piedmont Unified School District told families that the air pollution index of 115 meant all athletic activities were cancelled. Friday’s away football game in Moraga was also cancelled.

When Spare the Air alerts are in effect, wood burning is banned both indoors and outdoors.

If anyone smells smoke, the air district advises them to stay inside with windows and doors closed and to set air conditioning and car vent systems to recirculate.

The latest air quality readings in the region can be found at baaqmd.gov/highs.

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