Poor air quality from CA wildfires impacts San Francisco tourists

Lyanne Melendez Image
Saturday, November 10, 2018
Poor air quality from CA wildfires impacts SF tourists
Air quality was so bad in the city that schools suspended recess and cable car operators were given masks to protect themselves from smoke.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- In San Francisco, schools suspended recess and any other outdoor activity because of the poor air quality. It wasn't the best time to be a tourist, either.

Let's take one of San Francisco's main attractions, the cable cars. Operators were given masks to protect themselves from the smoke.

RELATED: Air quality in Bay Area is worse than Beijing due to Camp Fire in Butte County

Tourists had to ask why people had them on.

"I'm fine I don't have a problem with it. I am surprised to see so many people walking around with masks actually," said a tourist from Australia.

"I'm feeling a little in my chest, but other than that it's alright. Yeah, yeah just a little tight," Sue Gillbinks, also visiting from Australia.

BUTTE COUNTY FIRE: Current evacuations, road closures, donation information

School playgrounds typically bustling with kids at noon were empty. San Francisco Unified ordered every school to keep kids from playing outdoors.

"We've been monitoring the air quality for San Francisco and we know that right now it's not at a healthy level, so we want to make sure that kids are kept indoors," explained Laura Dudnick, spokesperson for the San Francisco Unified School District.

The Camp Fire is now the most destructive wildfire in California's history.

There were cries of disappointment from Twin Peaks. The quintessential wedding photo was not meant to be.

VIDEO: Fire whirl whips around Camp Fire in Butte County

We ran into a retired firefighter from North Carolina who is used to the smoke. He was disappointed that he had to miss out on what should have been an incredible view.

"I'm amazed what you can't see here. I'd like to come back when it's clear," said Robert Doss, who was visiting a friend in San Francisco.

"We're from Germany and it's kind of a bummer to be up here on Twin Peaks and not really be able to see anything, on the other hand it's kind of cool to be in California during a wildfire, it's an authentic California experience," said Liz Kraft, a tourist.

For more stories and videos related to the Camp Fire, visit this page.

VIDEO: Poor air quality triggers dozens of school closures in Bay Area

An Air Quality Advisory has been issued in the Bay Area through Friday due to smoke from the wildfire burning in Butte County.