Face masks in high demand as wildfire smoke continues to plague Bay Area

PALO ALTO, Calif. (KGO) -- Haze from the deadly wildfire in Butte County is expected to continue over the Bay Area for the next few days, which makes face masks one of the most popular items in stores across the region.

The line was long at Hassett ACE Hardware in Palo Alto, with most every customer in search of the same thing - N95 masks.

Parent Gail Shulman says she can't wait for the masks she ordered on Amazon to arrive.

RELATED: Check current Bay Area air quality levels

"It's serious," she said. "It's gone on for days, I want to guard my family's health."

The hardware store posted a sign telling customers that five is the limit per person. They've gone to great lengths to keep the masks in stock.

"One of our employees drove all the way to Bakersfield to acquire more masks," said store manager Casey Hornback.

But finding masks wasn't easy for Palo Alto resident Jerry Anderson and his wife Betty.

"We went out last night CVS and Walgreens were sold out and wouldn't have any till Tuesday," he said.

The unhealthy air remains smoky and thick in most parts of the Bay Area.

"We want people to hang in there," said Santa Clara County OES Director Patty Eaton. "Protect your children and yourself by staying inside."

LIST: Events canceled in Bay Area due to Camp Fire smoke

Santa Clara County made clean air centers available, mostly at libraries, where there were bigger crowds than usual.

Monika Cabbera brought her kids.

"We've had cabin fever stuck inside looking for options," she said.

Most outdoor activities from football games to festivals have all been canceled across the Bay Area.

"It's impacting people in interesting ways, it reminds us how little control we have in life," said Palo Alto resident Betty Howell.

For more stories, photos, and videos on the Camp Fire, go here.
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