Some stay indoors, exercise less intensely with smoky haze

For a second straight day in a row, the Bay Area Quality Management District has declared Thursday another Spare the Air Day because of the poor air quality due to the smoke from the wildfires.

Some athletic clubs in the Bay Area canceled their practices Wednesday. Cal Fire also banned outdoor burning in several counties.

At Muy Thai Academy in Santa Clara, workouts have been modified to indoors only, doors are kept closed and students have been instructed to keep exercise to a minimum.

“I myself when I go out,” said Muy Thai Academy Founder Nirmalya Bhowmick. “My eyes are burning. My throat is burning. The air quality is getting worse by the day, that's my personal perspective.”

The air pollution isn't ideal for intense training. The gym caters to older people and half a dozen members have asthma.

“I’ve been having a headache throughout the day more often than usual,” said Brian Seo of San Jose.

“It’s nasty,” said Muy Thai Academy Instructor Don Baker. “Go outside and look at the mountains you can't see the East Hills. You can't see the Santa Cruz Mountains.”

It’s not just the South Bay. In Livermore and San Ramon, soccer clubs canceled practices Wednesday.


“We are already seeing effects of poor air quality in the inland valleys,” said Tom Flannigan of the Bay Area Quality Management District.

At Sanborn County Park in Saratoga, campers are being told that all outdoor burning is banned on state lands in Alameda, Contra Costa and Santa Clara counties.

“There’s no campfires,” said Santa Clara County Park Ranger Edward Ancheta. “There's no BBQ, there's no charcoal fires but they are allowed to use propane camping stoves.”

Low humidity, increased winds and hot temperatures are creating the perfect storm for vegetation to burn. Authorities said preventing another fire can help ensure air quality doesn't get any worse.

“Caliornia, the whole state is on fire,” said Doug Tollis of San Jose. “I think it's a good thing they are taking the initiative to move forward and control what's going on now.”

Park rangers said the ban on outdoor burning could last for a week. The air district said onshore winds are expected to improve air quality on Friday.