Energy

California’s Bay Area Is Choking On Pollution From Fires

REUTERS/Eric Thayer

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Tim Pearce Energy Reporter

Smoke from the Camp Fire north of Sacramento has drifted over California’s Bay Area, filling the air with ash and shutting down dozens of schools in the area.

The Camp Fire had consumed more than 70,000 acres by Friday morning. The fire sped through and nearly destroyed the town of Paradise, forcing its 27,000 residents to flee their homes Thursday morning. Many escaped by driving over roads edged in flames. (RELATED: ‘Wiped Out’: Wildfires Rage Across California, Destroy An Entire Town)

Some Californians living in the Bay Area walked around outside Friday morning wearing surgical masks to keep from breathing in the smoke and ash. The area’s air quality is comparable to or worse than China’s most populated areas, such as Beijing, SFGate reported.

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District issued a smoke advisory warning Friday, according to KPIX 5.

“Heavy smoke from the fire is causing elevated levels of particulate pollution in the region and is especially impacting the North Bay and East Bay,” the agency warning said, according to KPIX 5. “Stay inside with windows and doors until the smoke levels subside.”

The air quality has caused dozens of schools to cancel all outdoor activities or close down completely, ABC7 News reported.

“There is ash in my mouth,” Bay Area resident Joseph Hall told KPIX 5 after walking outside without a mask. “My mouth and my nose are dry as a bone.”

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