Breathe Carefully Bay Area, The Air Quality Is Going To Get Worse
Due to a campfire off the heels of East Bay—the Bay Area is covered in a layer of smoke.
Cal Fire reports that the Camp Fire in Butte County, roughly 160 miles northwest of San Francisco, that started at around 6:30 a.m. Thursday has grown to a size of at least 8,000 acres and promoted evacuations of thousands of residents of nearby Paradise, Magalia, Concow, Butte Creek Canyon, and Butte Valley.
The Butte County Sheriff’s Department reports that the main Butte County website is non-functional and to defer to the sheriff’s Twitter account for updates. Mandatory evacuation order are in effect for the following areas:
“The area of Highway 70 from Concow South, including all of Yankee Hill on both sides of 70.”
“The area of Pentz and 70 South to 149, including Butte College.”
Butte Creek, Centervill, Pulga, Paradise, and Concow.
“The South Pine Zone, Old Magalia Zone, and South Coutelenc Zone.”
“Carnegie Zone, North Pines Zone, North Fir Haven Zone and South Fir Haven Zone.”
With the raging fires currently plaguing various parts of California, the state has issued a general advisory for children, elders, and people with chronic respiratory ailments. Ozone levels expected worst around Antioch, Livermore, and San Jose.
And if you're wondering how many fires are currently in burst around the region, Curbed SF created this handy map. It's not great by any means. The worst currently soaring in and out of the news is the ongoing Mendocino Fire, which is now the largest fire in recorded history. (Although not one the most destructive fires, as those are separate statistics).
The fire is massive to a point that it covers from the most western end of San Francisco and stops at the eastern suburbs of Tracy, CA. So far, 2018 fires have mostly spared the Bay Area, with only a few minor flare-ups in the region that were contained mostly without incident. According to the EPA’s AirNow site, air quality in San Francisco for the coming weeks is expected at around 68 on the federal Air Quality Index, which qualifies as “moderate” and yields a warning that “unusually sensitive people should consider reducing prolonged or heavy exertion.”
Though for our friends in the Santa Clara and Contra Costa regions, the air quality is proposed to worsen with the Summer months, the district advises residents to “cut back on any activities that cause pollution—such as driving, using oil-based paints, gasoline-powered lawn mowers, or household aerosol products like hair sprays” and to try to keep indoors if possible, especially in the afternoon.
// Photo via Justin Sullivan/Getty Images; have a story from the fires? Share it with us in our tipline. We pay for submissions we want to feature.