Medicine

County issues air quality health advisory

County issues air quality health advisory

Conditions were ripe for wildfires in wine country after record rains last winter created an abundance of dry vegetation. As winds continue moving, Friday and Saturday should see a return to poor air quality, Flannigan said.

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District on Tuesday warned that the smoke has made breathing hazardous.

Officials advise people in the area to stay indoors when possible and possibly leave the area until the forecast improves.

Air district officials recommend that residents impacted by heavy smoke, particularly in Napa and Sonoma counties, take shelter in buildings with filtered air or move to areas less impacted by the pollution.

The alert was issued shortly before noon Wednesday.

"When you have levels that are as unhealthy as we are seeing now, it's important for everyone to find a way to protect themselves from the smoke or to get out of the smoke all together", said Lisa Fasano, a spokeswoman for the district.

Seventeen different fires have spread across four different counties, leaving over 2,000 structures destroyed and killing at least 17 people, according to ABC7, since the fires started Sunday night.

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The Tubbs Fire in Napa County burned 27,000 acres as of Tuesday afternoon, according to the CalFire website.

On Thursday, levels of the particle pollution known as PM2.5 hovered at 160 micrograms per cubic meter - or 14 times higher than what federal standards deem safe - around the San Francisco area. Glidden said Wednesday the ventilation was finally turned off at the school. "It felt like we were lying to our parents", she said.

School has been canceled for the Fairfield-Suisun School District for the rest of the week.

The school board acknowledged the mask issue and plans to resolve the problem, Walton said. "So, sending them home doesn't seem to be a better situation".

Officials cautioned the public to limit outdoor activity.

The smell of fire hangs in the air in San Francisco. "I don't know if it's due to smoke".

Children and the elderly are most likely to be affected by the particulates in smoky air. Kaiser declined to give the number of patients transferred to its Oakland medical center. Unfortunately neither a hospital mask or a bandanna tied over the face prevents noxious air from entering the lungs, and to make much of a difference, even N-95 masks must fit well.


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