Tri-Valley air quality nearing 'hazardous' levels due to Camp Fire smoke

LIVERMORE, Calif. (KGO) -- Bay Area air quality continues to be a problem due to the Camp Fire, especially out in the Tri-Valley cities of Dublin, Pleasanton, San Ramon and Livermore.

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Usually on the drive down the I-580 corridor through the Tri-Valley, you can see Mt. Diablo and the surrounding mountain range. Wednesday night, it was blocked out by the thick smoke.

Jorge Gonzalez and his 8-year-old son Trey, who live in Livermore, were out getting dinner. But they have been trying to stay indoors much of the week.

"I work in San Francisco, so when I come down 580 and the grade, the visibility has gone down to a minimum. You can't see very far ahead of you. It's gotten pretty bad," explains Gonzalez.

Gonzalez is concerned about all this smoke coming into Livermore from the Camp Fire. He says he noticed a big change, even just over the past 24 hours, which has him concerned about his son's health.

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"I'm surprised the schools haven't been shut down. Especially kids, maybe with asthma, you know, it's hard for breathing," he says.

That could change. The Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District announced on social media that may close some schools on Thursday if the air quality gets worse. They will make an announcement by 7:30 a.m. on Thursday.

"We've been playing outside, but now we can't because of the smoke. It's bad for your lungs," says Trey.

Wednesday's calm winds means the smoke from the Camp Fire settled into the valley, which lead to the increasing air pollution. At 4 p.m. Wednesday, the air quality index read 272. At 300, air quality reaches hazardous levels.

"I look out the patio door onto Portola Drive, which is major street over here (in Livermore), and it looks foggy. I know it's not fog, it's smoke. It's just terrible," says Randy Morgan, also a Livermore resident.

As air quality reached its worst levels of the week, air masks were given out in Dublin.

If air quality worsens overnight, it could have a big impact on commuters through the Altamont Pass.

See more stories, photos and videos on the Camp Fire in Butte County.
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