Unhealthy air alert extended, could break record

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District extended its unhealthy air warning until Tuesday.

That would mark a new record of consecutive unhealthy air in the Bay area and bringing with it unprecedented closures.

At Lincoln Glen Park in San Jose's Willow Glen neighborhood, the park was empty with the exception of the Wood family eating lunch.

"It's a little bit eerie. Usually there's a lot of kids out on playgrounds like this and it's been really empty," said Melissa Wood. 

Wood, a San Jose mother of two, said she had to get her 4-year-old son and 1-year-old daughter out of the house for an hour before heading back indoors.

"It's just too hard to keep kids inside all-day, day after day after day," said Wood.

Thursday marked the 7th consecutive day of bad air alerts because of the hazy filter of smoke hanging over the Bay Area.

It also was the first day of new school closures for some school campuses, from preschools to universities, including San Francisco State and Santa Clara University.

"Today (I) went to college and we just got out because they closed," said San Jose City College student Joyce Ling, who was wearing a mask while walking home. 

San Jose State University's campus closed Thursday and will remain closed Friday, believed to be the first time the campus has ever closed because of air quality in its 161-year history.

Meanwhile the bad air had some looking at indoor activities.

"I'd say maybe a quarter of our guests are showing up with face protection, breathing protection. That's evident of how bad it is today because we haven't seen that yet," said Jes Foster, General Manager of Jungle Island in San Jose.

Foster lives in the Santa Cruz Mountains and said he couldn't see the San Jose skyline while driving in.
He adds the bad air pales to what the North State residents are experiencing.

"It really doesn't compare. Those poor folks. All those folks with their homes and pets. Our heart goes out to everyone. That's really a tough time," said Foster.

Air quality officials extended the Spare the Air alerts until Tuesday, which would mark a new record of 13 consecutive days of alerts, beating the previous record of 11 days in 2015.