Mendocino Complex Fires creating poor air quality in Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The Mendocino Complex Fires are creating bad air quality around the Bay Area. It's a Spare the Air Day, carpooling and public transit are encouraged to try and improve our air. You also need to take steps to protect yourself, especially the elderly, the very young and those with lung conditions.

The poor air quality is a combination of smog from cars and smoke from the fires.

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The Bay Area Air Quality Management District says if you smell smoke, you're breathing it. They advise moving indoors and keeping air conditioners set to recirculate air.

"Try to stay indoors as much as possible. People with air conditioning should put their air conditioning onto recycle. Keep the windows and doors closed. If you have to be out and be active, you want to do activities early in the morning," said Dr. Thomas Dailey, Kaiser Permanente.

The particulates in the air can really have an effect on people and it could get worse this week. Even if you feel good today, it could build up and hit you later this week. Take it easy, stay inside and skip the outdoor exercise.

"We're asking residents to drive less if possible, get out of their cars and take transit instead. We are also telling people to be in touch with their own health," Tom Flannigan with the Bay Area Air Quality Management District said.

A respiratory specialist at Benioff Children's Hospital says they have been seeing more patients complaining of breathing problems during the fires.

"So, symptoms you should really pay attention to are symptoms of cough, wheezing, shortness of breath or anytime you have any difficulty with breathing you should call your doctor," Dr. Ngoc Ly said.

Doctor Ly says people with existing respiratory problems may want to wear an N95 filtration mask, to keep out smoke particles. But, the most effective way to avoid breathing issues is to stay out of the unhealthy air completely.

Get the latest on the Carr Fire here, the Complex Fire here and the latest on wildfires across California here.

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