Spare the Air alert issued for Thursday

SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) -- A Spare the Air alert has been issued for Thursday, the Bay Area's 17th such alert this season.

Authorities issued the alert because of smoke from the Soberanes Fire in Monterey County, light winds and rising temperatures will combine with motor vehicle exhaust to produce unhealthy air.

 “We want to encourage commuters in the Bay Area to find carpool connections at work or in your neighborhood,” said Jack Broadbent, executive officer of the Air District. “Until we find a way to reduce the amount of cars on our roads, we will unfortunately continue to experience unhealthy air as temperatures soar and wildfires impact the region.”

The alerts are issued when ozone pollution is forecast to reach unhealthy levels. Smog in the air can cause throat irritation, congestion, chest pain, trigger asthma attacks and inflame the linings of the lungs, worsening breathing problems for those who suffer from bronchitis or emphysema.

Bay Area residents were encouraged to carpool, bike, walk or take mass transit to work.