Bay Area air quality advisory in effect due to wildfire

Smoke blowing toward the Bay Area from the Mineral Fire in Fresno County is continuing to affect air quality this weekend, according to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.

An agency spokesperson said Saturday that an air quality advisory is being extended through Sunday due to smoke migrating from the fire, which started Monday evening.

Smoke from the fire is expected to impact the Bay Area through Sunday. At the surface, winds are expected to remain onshore across the Bay Area. Smoke will likely remain aloft, resulting in smoky and hazy skies. The agency will be closely monitoring air quality throughout the Bay Area for smoke impacts from the fire.

If the smell of smoke is present, it is important that Bay Area residents protect their health by avoiding exposure. If possible, stay inside with windows and doors closed until smoke levels subside, if temperatures allow. It is also recommended that those impacted by smoke set their air conditioning units and car vent systems to re-circulate to prevent outside air from moving inside.

The agency added that smoke can irritate the eyes and airways, causing coughing, a dry scratchy throat and irritated sinuses. Elevated particulate matter in the air can trigger wheezing in those who suffer from asthma, emphysema or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD.

Elderly persons, children and individuals with respiratory illnesses are particularly susceptible to elevated air pollution levels and should take extra precautions to avoid exposure. Check here for real-time air quality readings.