Spare the air alert issued for Wednesday in Bay Area

- The potential mix of smog and smoke from the fires in Mendocino County has prompted a spare the air alert on Wednesday for the East Bay and South Bay. 

Tom Flannigan with the Bay Area Air Quality Management District said inland areas like Livermore, Walnut Creek, and San Jose are at risk for poor air quality due to pollution in the air mixing with smoke and hot temperatures.

“We don’t expect air pollution to reach significantly unhealthy levels, but we run a risk of it being unhealthy in the inland valleys, periodically,” he said.

Ricardo Lopez jogs in the Oakland hills and said the smoke from the past few days has made it a little harder to breathe during his run.

“It’s a little harder to breathe and I’ve had to get up early and figure out how to change my pace to accommodate for the smoke,” Lopez said.

The coastal areas shouldn't be affected thanks to the sea breeze, according to Flannigan.

Smoke and haze from the fires in Lake and Mendocino Counties has been visible in parts of the Bay Area since last week. A smoke advisory remains in effect through Thursday. 

A spokesman for the American Lung Association in California said it is not just elderly and children who are at risk of smoke exposure. If you smell smoke or see ash, you should stay indoors and limit outdoor activities. Health officials also said you should watch for symptoms of smoke exposure which include wheezing, headaches, burning eyes and a runny nose.


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