Spare the air day issued for today, Friday

- Spare the Air smog alerts have been issued in the Bay Area for today and Friday, the latest in the calendar year that the alerts have ever been issued, regional air quality officials said.

The alerts issued by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District are unrelated to the North Bay wildfires that have impacted regional air quality for most of the month, air district officials said.

Instead, it is forecasted light winds and warm temperatures that are expected to combine with vehicle exhaust to create unhealthy levels of ozone, otherwise known as smog, in the East Bay and Santa Clara Valley regions, according to the air district.

"This week's hot temperatures are the latest in the season we have ever experienced with real public health consequences," air district executive officer Jack Broadbent said in a statement.

The air district encourages people to carpool on daily commutes and to find other ways to reduce air pollution like choosing electric lawn equipment and not using lighter fluid on barbecues.

Children, the elderly and people with respiratory or heart conditions are the most at risk from increased smog. The air district also advises that outdoor exercise be done only in the early morning hours on Spare the Air days.

Today's and Friday's alerts are the 17th and 18th for smog so far in 2017.

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