Spare the Air alert issued for Sunday as wildfire smoke lingers

Wildfire smoke and a change in the wind pattern triggers air quality alert in the Bay Area for Wednesday, August 18, 2021. 

As an unholy trinity of high temperatures, tailpipe exhaust and wildfire smoke choke the Bay Area, the air district is issuing a Spare the Air Alert for smog for Sunday.

"If we all drive less this holiday weekend, we can help reduce harmful smog and protect the health of Bay Area residents," said Veronica Eady, an executive officer with the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.

Spare the Air Alerts are issued when ozone pollution is forecast to reach unhealthy levels. Ozone, or smog, can cause throat irritation, congestion and chest pain, trigger asthma, inflame the lining of the lungs and worsen bronchitis and emphysema.

When a Spare the Air Alert is issued, outdoor exercise should be done only in the early morning hours when ozone concentrations are lower, according to the air district.

High temperatures & wildfire smoke are expected to increase smog build up and the smoke advisory remains in effect through Monday. the district said.