Massive crowds flock to San Francisco beaches during scorching Bay Area heat wave

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ByJ.R. Stone via KGO logo
Monday, September 7, 2020
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The smoky air quality and the coronavirus pandemic did not stop massive crowds of people from flocking to Bay Area beaches over Labor Day weekend. Beaches that weren't closed in San Francisco were packed with people trying to dodge scorching temperatures.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The smoky conditions have not stopped crowds of people making their way to Bay Area beaches. Some of those beaches are closed and those that still have open parking lots are busier than ever.

LABOR DAY: Here's which Bay Area beaches are open and closed

Dozens of bonfires burned Sunday night along Ocean Beach, something that is not permitted during Spare the Air days. This after a day that consisted of hot temperatures, smoky conditions, and massive crowds along beaches.

"We were absolutely shocked when we came to the beach today. I mean we actually thought we should go back to the car and get our masks because we're not used to seeing this many people," says Muffi Bailey who lives in San Francisco.

Parking at Ocean Beach was closed after an estimated crowd of a thousand showed up Saturday night to celebrate Burning Man.

RELATED: San Francisco to close Ocean Beach parking after large gathering Saturday, mayor says

Still though on Sunday many parked nearby and walked in. Others opted for different locations like Crissy Field's East Beach.

"This is about as crowded as I've ever seen it," said Chris Apicella of San Francisco.

Most of Sunday's smoke in the Bay Area came from two fires. Both the Woodward and August Fires burning north of San Francisco.

Add triple-digit temperatures, and you have additional concerns in some areas.

Ralph Borrmann of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District said, "That's making for high ozone readings especially in parts of Santa Clara and Livermore valley."

RECORD HEAT: SF reaches 100 degrees, more than 10 Bay Area cities smash record-high temps

"People are enjoying themselves despite it but it's not the bay we're used to seeing it's not the beautiful San Francisco that people come to visit," said Austin Teece of Berkeley.

Still though as crowded as these beaches were. The attitude was positive. The spirit was festive and it was all topped with a spectacular sunset and a hope that we can come together during what is now a hot, smoky pandemic.

"We're doing the best we can and I think we just have to just try not to look for 100% compliance with every little last letter of every little regulation just have a little patience with all of us ya know," said one beachgoer Sunday.

Parking lots at Ocean Beach are still closed and will be closed until Tuesday.

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