Bay Area air quality advisory extended through Thursday

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A Spare the Air Alert has been issued through Thursday due to a large smoke plume covering the entire Bay Area. 

According to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, as of Wednesday morning, San Jose and the surrounding South Bay have “unhealthy” air quality. 

The agency said wildfires from Northern California and Oregon have increased levels of particulate matter pollution in the air. During the Spare the Air Alert, it is “illegal for Bay Area residents and businesses to use their fireplaces, wood stoves, pellet stoves, outdoor fire pits or any other wood-burning devices,” BAAQMD said.

The National Weather Service wrote, “Smokey air from Northwest California fires may linger near the surface across the Bay Area for the next few days.”

Bay Area residents are advised to avoid exposure if the smell of smoke is present by staying indoors with the windows and doors closed. 

To check the air quality near you, use this interactive map.

In Sonoma County, officials issued a health advisory due to poor air quality.

Sonoma County officials wrote, “Smoke from wildfires currently burning in Northern California and Southern Oregon is expected to impact the air quality throughout Sonoma County today through Wednesday, Sept. 20. The air quality is expected to be in the moderate range during this event. Some people may experience adverse health effects from the smoke. Members of sensitive groups may experience effects that are more serious.”

Smoke drifted as far south as the Santa Cruz mountains.

Cal Fire CZU officials wrote, “Our Felton emergency command center has gotten calls from San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties (from) people concerned about haze and smell of smoke. Winds from the north are pushing smoke from wildfires in NorCal & Oregon into our region.”


Charlene is a Bay Area journalist who hails from the small community of Fresno. Drawing from her experience writing for her college paper, Charlene continues to advocate for free press and local journalism. She also volunteers in all the beach cleanups she can because she loves the water.