Air quality advisory extended through Wednesday in Bay Area due to smoke from Oak Fire

ByJ.R. Stone and Ryan Curry via KGO logo
Monday, July 25, 2022
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Drifting smoke from the Oak Fire will bring hazy skies to the Bay Area, prompting an extension to the air quality advisory through Wednesday.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Drifting smoke from the massive Oak Fire burning near Yosemite will bring hazy skies to the Bay Area over the next few days, prompting air district officials to extend an air quality advisory through Wednesday.

As of 9 a.m. Monday, the Oak Fire had charred 16,791 acres in Mariposa County and was 10% contained, according to Cal Fire. More than 2,500 fire personnel are fighting the blaze, which was reported on Friday afternoon and exploded in size over the weekend.

Winds are pushing smoke from the wildfire to the Bay Area, but it's expected to stay aloft and only higher elevations may experience the smell of smoke. An air quality advisory issued for Monday has been extended through Wednesday with possibility of more, according to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.

Air quality is forecast to be good to moderate for the region and pollutant levels are not expected to exceed the national 24-hour health standard.

A Spare the Air Alert is not in effect, the air district said.

Plumes of smoke have been billowing into the air in Mariposa County ever since the Oak Fire started on Friday.

RELATED: Bay Area fire crews head to Mariposa County to help battle wildfires near Yosemite

"We do expect smoke from that Oak Fire to drift into the Bay Area. Higher elevations may have some smoke impact there," said Erin DeMerritt of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.

While skies were clear over San Francisco and the East Bay on Sunday, there is an air quality advisory in place.

Smoke from the Oak Fire can be seen from the International Space Station. The National Weather Service released a time-lapse smoke forecast map that shows smoke at high elevations over the entire Bay Area by Tuesday.

That smoke has already impacted multiple counties.

"It looks like an apocalypse. I mean you look up when the sun is behind it. Early morning to mid afternoon the sun is right in the direction of the smoke and it's just this red ball glowing in the sky, and everything has an orange hue to it so it's really ominous," said Scott Patrick of Mariposa County.

Patrick evacuated his home Saturday. So far that home is still standing but his description of the sky is reminiscent of what the Bay Area has seen several times, including the orange looking skies from 2020.

VIDEO: Orange San Francisco sky looks even wilder in drone video

Something that we asked DeMerritt about Sunday.

"Right now we don't expect any impacts like that, like I said air quality is good to moderate, and we do expect that for the rest of the week, but when wildfires are active conditions can change rather quickly so we will be closely monitoring air quality," said DeMerritt.

If you do smell smoke, experts we talked with say the recommendation is simple, go inside then close your windows and doors.

Bay City News contributed to this report.

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