US San Francisco Bay Area cancels events as smoke chokes region

16:53  13 october  2017
16:53  13 october  2017 Source:   Associated Press

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Smoke from wildfires north of San Francisco is creating the worst air quality in the San Francisco Bay Area on record. The region has endured days of choking smoke since the fires began Sunday night and claimed at least 31 lives and destroyed thousands of homes and businesses.

SAN FRANCISCO — Smoke from the wildfires north of San Francisco has sank air quality level in the Bay Area to the The region has endured days of choking smoke since the fires began Sunday night and claimed many schools decided to close Friday and organizers canceled weekend events

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SAN FRANCISCO — Smoke from the wildfires north of San Francisco has sank the air quality level in the Bay Area to the same unhealthy level as some of China's smog-choked cities, sending people to emergency rooms and forcing schools to close and people to wear masks when they step outside.

The region has endured days of choking smoke since the fires began Sunday night and claimed at least 31 lives and destroyed thousands of homes and businesses.

Air quality in the most of the region Thursday was as bad as Beijing, China's notoriously polluted capital, according to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.

"We have unprecedented levels of smoke and particles in the air that we normally don't see," said Ralph Borrmann, a spokesman for the district.

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SF Bay Area . By Region . Whether you enjoy nature or the arts, wine or beer, history Learn more >. This Week's Popular San Francisco Bay Area Events .

#BREAKING #Sigalert cancelled on HWY 92, ALL LANES ARE OPEN! - @CBSSF. The San Francisco Bay Area (referred to locally as the Bay Area ) is a populous region surrounding the San Francisco and San Pablo estuaries in Northern California.

He called it the worst air quality ever recorded in many parts of the Bay Area.

Officials warned that very fine smoke particles, thinner than a human hair, can get lodged in the lungs and into the bloodstream, causing irreparable damage to the body. In Solano County, hospitals there received more than 250 people who complained of toxic air inhalation, county health officer Bela Matyas said Thursday.

The San Francisco skyline is obscured by smoke and haze from wildfires Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017, in this view from Sausalito, Calif. Gusting winds and dry air forecast for Thursday could drive the next wave of devastating wildfires that are already well on their way to becoming the deadliest and most destructive in California history. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)© The Associated Press The San Francisco skyline is obscured by smoke and haze from wildfires Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017, in this view from Sausalito, Calif. Gusting winds and dry air forecast for Thursday could drive the next wave of devastating wildfires that are already well on their way to becoming the deadliest and most destructive in California history. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg) With winds expected to keep blowing in smoke from the fires to populated areas this weekend, many schools decided to close Friday and organizers canceled weekend events, including an Oktoberfest in Walnut Creek and a fitness festival and half marathon in San Francisco.

Sports teams are monitoring the air quality as they prepare to host games.

The NFL has been exploring options to move Sunday's game between the Oakland Raiders and Los Angeles Chargers if it becomes necessary.

Oakland, which is some 45 miles (72 kilometers) south of the fires, has been blanketed by smoke.

Officials at the University of California, Berkeley and Stanford are monitoring the air quality as weekend football games approach.

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