1st Spare the Air alert of the year for smog issued for Friday

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District has issued its first Spare the Air alert of the year for smog in the region Friday.

A forecast of triple-digit temperatures in inland parts of the Bay Area is expected to combine with vehicle exhaust to create elevated concentrations of ozone, otherwise known as smog, according to the air district.

Air district officials advise people to only do outdoor exercise or other strenuous activities in the early morning hours when smog concentrations are lower on Spare the Air days, and are asking commuters to take steps to reduce the number of cars on the road and vehicle exhaust in the air.

"Bay Area traffic is ramping up to pre-pandemic levels, and tailpipe exhaust combined with high temperatures is expected to cause unhealthy smog," air district interim executive officer Sharon Landers said in a statement. "We can all help keep our air healthier by finding alternatives to driving alone, such as working remotely, taking transit, biking or walking."

Air district officials say smog can cause throat irritation, congestion and chest pain that can be harmful, particularly for young children, seniors and those with respiratory problems.

People can find out when a Spare the Air alert is in effect by registering for emails at www.sparetheair.org, calling (800) HELP-AIR, downloading the Spare the Air smartphone app, or finding Spare the Air on Facebook or Twitter.