Livermore posts worst air quality in Bay Area as smoke lingers

Familiar landmarks were obscured by the thick air that continues to linger in the Bay Area. The smoky skies over Livermore are making the air unhealthy to breath.

On Thursday, public school kids ate lunch at their desks. No child in the entire school district had any outside activities. The play structures stayed empty. No P.E. classes.

“A lot of activity they want to have, but we are keeping them inside because it is the safe thing," said principal Steve Martin. 

But late Thursday, officials announced all schools in Alameda County are being closed Friday, including all Livermore schools.

The air quality index showed Livermore at 206 Thursday morning. Anything over 200 is considered "very unhealthy" and Livermore had the worst air quality in the bay area. It later dipped just under 200 for a classification of "unhealthy."

"This morning I woke up and had to use my inhaler to get the congestion out. It’s clearly affecting us," said Erika Ratto of Dublin.

At one downtown restaurant some still chose to eat outside.

"We are just visitors. So we figure how much damage can we do at lunch," said a man from South Dakota.

In downtown Livermore, a few people were seen wearing masks.

"My eyes were watery and I had a tickle in my throat, so that's not good," said Peter Gabriele of Livermore.

Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty was handing out masks to folks passing by. A worker at Sunrise Mountain Sports said the mask was helping.

"Yesterday I had a headache. I thought it was the air quality, and it was the air quality. I got a mask. The headache went away," said employee Heather Figuers.

The smoke is also affecting people's ability to work.

Lawrence Livermore Laboratory sent home all of its almost 6,000 employees Thursday because of poor air quality.