'Locked in with the air': Wildfire smoke grips Bay Area, changing weekend plans for many

ByCornell Barnard via KGO logo
Sunday, August 8, 2021
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Wildfire smoke is blanketing the Bay Area for a second day, the layer of smoke causing people to take notice, and take precautions.

SONOMA, Calif. (KGO) -- Wildfire smoke is blanketing the Bay Area for a second day, the layer of smoke causing people to take notice, and take precautions.

"We've been locked in by COVID, now locked in with the air," said Jan Sides.

Sonoma resident Jan Sides feeling stressed about the bad air that's being pumped into the Sonoma Valley, leaving wine country hillsides shrouded in smoke.

RELATED: Bay Area residents advised to keep windows, doors shut through Saturday due to wildfire smoke

"We had guests for an outdoor birthday party but we moved indoors because people were getting sick," said Sides.

Tourists Kayla and Jalen have been smelling smoke for days on their vacation.

"I definitely noticed, our tour guide told us the air would be smoky, noticing a lot of that," said Jalen DePalma.

Air quality moved to into moderate levels Saturday but in some parts of the Bay Area, the air was unhealthy for sensitive groups.

RELATED: Expert says get used to smoky skies, bad air quality for decades to come

"It does look bad in the North and East Bay," said Walter Wallace from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.

The smoke blanketed Mt. Diablo and Atlas Peak in Napa County and on Mt. St. Helena, the smoke so thick, the spectacular view was non-existent.

All that smoke is sending folks a not so subtle health message.

"If you smell smoke, you're being effected. Limit your exposure outside and stay indoors," Wallace added.

RELATED: Wildfires produced up to half of pollution in US West, according to study

You can see the smoke from space on satellite images.

The smoke has pushed into the Bay Area from the monster Dixie Fire, burning across four Northern California counties.

Plumes of smoke from the fire rising as high as 35,000 feet visible from commercial jets.

Who could forget September of 2020 when wildfire smoke turned day into night? Creating an apocalyptic orange sky.

VIDEO: Dramatic photos capture orange, hazy skies seen all across San Francisco Bay Area

At the Petaluma Music Festival, John Diercks was being careful.

The air quality, we're playing it by ear, keeping our eyes and ears open gauging it as we go," said Diercks.

Air quality officials have a few tips. Use an indoor air purifier if you have one and try to keep your doors and windows shut. The smoky skies could improve by early next week,

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