Smoke returns to the Bay Area, may linger for several days

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A major new wildfire burning in the North Bay means much of the Bay Area is once again waking up to scratchy throats and the smell of smoke.

Smoke from the Glass Fire burning in Napa and Sonoma counties will continue to drift over the Bay Area and could linger for several days.

“Smoke will definitely be an issue as the winds die down now later today,” said Roger Gass, meteorologist with the National Weather Service. “How heavy the concentration’s going to be, that’s still a big concern and an unknown at this point.”

The air quality index for much of the Bay Area is moderate, however in some areas it is considered unhealthy for sensitive groups in the North Bay and inland areas. Some air quality readings in Santa Rosa and other parts of the Glass Fire zone is at unhealthy levels.

“The offshore winds that caused some of this increase in fire activity overnight will continue to be out of the north to northeast, and that would blow any of the smoke up in the North Bay down towards the Bay Area,” said Gass. “So we’re going to see issues of smoke probably for several days.”

A Spare the Air alert has once again been issued Monday and extended through Friday.

Residents are advised to stay indoors with the windows closed where possible and run air purifiers, although that will be difficult as temperatures across the region are expected to hit the 90s and break 100 degrees in some areas.

A recent Stanford University study found that weeks of heavy wildfire smoke in August and early September may have caused at least 1,200 and as many as 3,000 deaths, especially in people who are older or have underlying conditions.