Spare the Air alert extended yet again, making it a month of foul air
LOS GATOS, Calif. - The Bay Area Air Quality Management District has issued Spare the Air alerts through Wednesday because of wildfire smoke, making it 30 straight days of the alerts banning wood burning in the region.
"I don't even go outside anymore because I can't even breathe," said South Bay resident Joanne Justice.
The Bay Area's air quality will be unhealthy for all residents on
Monday and Tuesday and unhealthy for sensitive groups on Wednesday, Bay Area Air Quality Management District spokeswoman Kristine Roselius said.
The region may see a modicum of relief on Thursday and Friday but air quality is expected to remain hazy for the foreseeable future, Roselius said.
Wildfires burning around California as well as in Oregon and Washington have sent large amounts of smoke around the Bay Area and kept people mostly indoors to avoid the unhealthy air quality.
"I'm a cancer survivor. So I'm affected by it quite a bit. I stay inside most of the time," said Ron Lykins of Campbell.
On days that the air district issues Spare the Air alerts, it is illegal in the nine-county Bay Area to burn wood or other solid fuels indoors or outdoors.
Residents and visitors are advised to avoid exposure to the smoky conditions by staying inside with windows and doors closed, and to set air conditioning and car vent systems to re-circulate air to prevent outside air from moving inside.
According to the air district, the smoke can irritate eyes and airways and those with existing respiratory illnesses are particularly susceptible.
San Jose State University is hosting classes online but closed its campus Monday because of the poor air quality.
In San Francisco, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services San Francisco Asylum office closed for the same reason.
At the Los Gatos Ace Hardware store, co-owner Bryan Matsumoto says they've had a lot of purchases of KN95 masks, furnace and air filters, along with air purifiers which start at about $90.
Matsumoto says the air purifiers are going out as fast as they come in.
"Tuesday, I want to say we sold probably at least dozen. We could have sold more but we ran out of stock," said Matsumoto.
Air purifiers are in such demand, they're having to get them from the Midwest and East Coast.
"We have never sold this many before. Our local Ace warehouse has been out of stock so we’ve been ordering them from other Ace warehouses in other parts of the country," said Matsumoto.
Matsumoto says the dirty air can also clog air systems which is why he encourages people to change out their air filters now.
KTVU's Maureen Naylor contributed to this report.