The North Bay wildfires are causing "unprecedented levels" of air pollution throughout the Bay Area, regional air quality officials said today.
The Bay Area Air Quality Management District earlier today issued a smoke advisory because of the wildfires, which have burned tens of thousands of acres in Napa and Sonoma Counties, and this afternoon issued a health advisory and Spare the Air alert.
Air district officials recommend that residents impacted by heavy smoke, particularly in Napa and Sonoma counties, take shelter in buildings with filtered air or move to areas less impacted by the pollution.
"Due to active wildfires and changing wind patterns, air quality could be impacted for many days to come," air district officials said in a statement.
They encourage residents who see or smell smoke in the area to avoid outdoor activity or exercise. Parents and school administrators should check air quality readings before allowing children to practice outdoor sports, according to the air district.
Real-time air quality readings can be found at go.usa.gov/xnxhb.
People who are indoors should set their air conditioning to re-circulate to avoid bringing outside air into buildings. Air district officials also asked that people avoid any activities like wood burning, lawn mowing, leaf blowing, driving or barbecuing that can add to the air pollution.
Children, the elderly and people with respiratory conditions are the most sensitive to the pollution and should take extra precautions, according to the air district.