Spare the Air alert issued, 15th this season

SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) -- The Bay Area Air Quality Management District has issued a Spare the Air alert for Friday, the 15th alert in the 2016 summer season about excessive smog expected in the region.

Air district officials are advising Bay Area residents to reduce driving and to limit outdoor exercise to the early morning hours when concentrations of smog, otherwise known as ozone, are lower.

 Air quality is expected to be poor because of light winds, warm temperatures, and smoke from the Soberanes Fire in Monterey County. Smoke from the fire is projected to impact the Bay Area through the week.

"Unfortunately, the Bay Area may have to contend with more wildfire smoke and smog as we move further into the fire season and the warmer weeks of summer," air district executive officer Jack Broadbent said in a statement.

"Reducing our overall air pollution by carpooling, taking transit or working from home will help keep the air healthier for Bay Area residents," Broadbent said.

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

Ozone pollution is particularly harmful for young children, seniors, and those with heart and lung conditions. Long-term exposure to smog can cause respiratory problems.

Bay Area employers with at least 50 full-time employees are required to offer commuter benefits to their staff. More information about the Bay Area Commuter Benefits Program can be found at