Bay Area stays cool during hot weekend

A girl drinks from a bottle of water at the Alameda County Fair on Sunday. Locals did what they could to stay cool during the weekend heat wave that triggered a Spare the Air advisory.
July 3, 2011 7:29:05 PM PDT
The Bay Area received a blast of summer heat on Sunday, but that didn't stop some people from heading out to various fairs and fireworks stands.

Some people just can't help it: The bigger the fireworks, the better the holiday, even if the big pack of fireworks costs $239.

In Dublin -- one of the few places in Alameda County where it is legal to buy and sell fireworks -- every purchase, whether it's big or small, comes with a stern warning.

"We ask them to please stay where it's legal," said Teri Kenney with Fireworks Sales. "Please stay in Dublin. We ask them to go to the parks that are designated for firing the fireworks."

Even if parks weren't in the plans for the Yu family, they planned to take every precaution when they hold their own fireworks show outside their house tomorrow.

"I guess we'll make sure to keep them away from the fireworks and watch in the distance," Jenny Yu said. "They (the kids) can play with the sparklers."

This year, fireworks aren't the only potentially dangerous Fourth of July tradition. The scorching weather forced Bay Area air quality monitors to declare Sunday a Spare the Air day. While barbecuing wasn't illegal, it definitely was not advised.

"People are allowed to barbecue, but we strongly encourage them to use their gas grills," said Aaron Richardson with Bay Area Air Quality Management. "They pollute a lot less than charcoal grills."

For those who insist on charcoal, air quality monitors have another request: Try to give up the lighter fluid.

"We try to avoid the lighter fluid," said Richmond resident Carlos Lopez. "Plus it gives a bad taste to the food."

As temperatures inched toward the triple digits in Pleasanton, fairgoers inched toward whatever shade they could find, and they all followed the heat advisory advice: Keep hydrated.

"We're going to all the misters, and then we're going to jump into the pool," said Livermore resident Mary O'Hagan.

The Spare the Air day is limited to just Sunday, so barbecuing on the Fourth of July isn't discouraged. However, another Spare the Air day might be issued for Tuesday.


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