Wildfire smoke, smog prompt spare the air alert for Monday

Wildfire smoke from the Glass Fire in Napa County and expected smog has prompted the Bay Area Air Quality Management District to extend its Spare the Air Alert through Monday.

Air district officials said that smoke from the Glass Fire that broke out Sunday morning will have consequences for the North Bay. In addition, smoke combined with high inland temperatures and vehicle exhaust is expected to cause unhealthy smog accumulation in the Bay Area, mainly in the South and East Bay. 

The alert means it is illegal for Bay Area residents and businesses to burn wood or manufactured firelogs in fireplaces, woodstoves and inserts, pellet stoves, outdoor fire pits, or any other wood burning devices.

"Unfortunately, we are still in the midst of wildfire season on top of a heat wave," said Jack Broadbent, executive officer of the Air District. "We must all remain vigilant to protect our health and the health of our communities. Driving less can help reduce smog build up and staying indoors when smoke is present is crucial to protecting our health." 

The National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory through 7 p.m. Monday and a Red Flag Warning is in effect through 9 p.m. Monday due to dry conditions and gusty winds.

"If we all drive less, we can help reduce harmful ozone pollution and protect the health of Bay Area residents," Broadbent said.

Monday's Spare the Air Alert is the 36th declared so far this year. Smog can cause throat irritation, congestion, chest pain, trigger asthma, inflame the lining of the lungs and worsen bronchitis and emphysema, air district officials said.

During a Spare the Air Alert, outdoor exercise should take place only in the early morning, when smog levels are lower. When smoke reaches unhealthy levels, residents should stay inside if possible with windows and doors closed until it subsides, if temperatures allow. When it's too hot, residents are urged to visit an air-cooling center or other building that provides filtered air.

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