California wildfires: Bay Area copes with unhealthy air quality, smoke and heat

SAN RAFAEL, Calif. (KGO) -- Most all of us in the Bay Area are dealing with poor air quality and hot temperatures this weekend, in fact there was almost no escaping it.

Skies were smoky and grey but soccer games were still happening in Berkeley. Coaches were closely watching the air quality index.

"The air quality's bad but If they say it's okay, we just come and play," said Cande, a Berkeley parent.

RELATED: Track Bay Area air quality levels | LIVE

"This is an opportunity to get out and we jump at the chance but we may have to reschedule for another time," said Vi Salgado.

San Pablo soccer Coach Jorge Serrano was concerned about his players breathing wildfire smoke.

"We have to be safe, if it goes over 100 we've got to go home and skip it," said Serrano.

Over 100 AQI is considered unhealthy for sensitive groups. By late morning, the air quality map was moving from orange to red in some parts of the Bay Area.

VIDEO: Lake Tahoe surrounded by thick, apocalyptic layer of smoke from California wildfires
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Video shows the Lake Tahoe area submerged in a thick, apocalyptic layer of smoke as wildfire conditions close Highway 50 and force local resorts and beaches to shut down.

From our Sutro Tower cam, the Golden Gate Bridge was a mere shadow. And from the East Bay, downtown Oakland was hazy. The Bay Bridge was vanishing in the smoke along with the San Francisco skyline.

Zach Tanenbaum's track event in Oakland got canceled.

"We were going to have a team inner-squad race at Joaquin Miller Park but coach sent email, air was 150, unsafe range," said Tanenbaum.

In Orinda, the extreme heat pushed 100 degrees. It was enough to send Jim Muehling and and his mom to the movies for some air-conditioned comfort.

RELATED: Wildfire smoke triggers worst air quality in world in Tahoe

My mom is elderly, her heart isn't good so we're happy to be at a theater inside," said Muehling.

N95 masks, recommended by experts for wildfire smoke have been selling fast at Orinda True Value Hardware.

"Everybody's coming in for the N95's they are best for air quality and COVID-19," said employee Lorraine Rawlinson.

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District recommends wearing N95 masks when smoke exceeds unhealthy levels. It recommends those with respiratory or health issues to stay inside their homes with doors and windows shut.

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