Thursday, September 21, 2023

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District is extending a Spare the Air Alert through Friday, September 22, due to continued wildfire smoke impacts across the region.

Spare the Air Status

Smoke from wildfires in Oregon and Northern California are expected to impact the Bay Area through Friday. These wildfires continue to generate a large amount of smoke which is being transported into the Bay Area. Air quality is expected to be in the ‘unhealthy for sensitive groups’ range on the U.S. EPA’s Air Quality Index throughout the Bay Area. It is illegal for Bay Area residents and businesses to use their fireplaces, wood stoves, pellet stoves, outdoor fire pits or any other wood-burning devices during a Spare the Air Alert for particle pollution.

The Air District will be closely monitoring air quality throughout the region for smoke impacts from these fires.

Spare the Air Alerts are issued when ozone or particulate matter pollution is forecast to reach unhealthy levels. If the smell of smoke is present or visible, it is important that Bay Area residents protect their health by avoiding exposure. If possible, stay inside with windows and doors closed until smoke levels subside. If temperatures are too hot indoors, visit an air-cooling center or other building that provides filtered air. It is also recommended that Bay Area residents set air conditioning units and car vent systems to re-circulate to prevent outside air from moving inside.

Smoke can irritate the eyes and airways, causing coughing, a dry scratchy throat and irritated sinuses. Elevated particulate matter in the air can trigger wheezing in those who suffer from asthma, emphysema or COPD. Elderly persons, children and individuals with respiratory illnesses are particularly susceptible to elevated air pollution levels and should take extra precautions to avoid exposure.

Check here for air quality readings:

To find out when a Spare the Air Alert is in effect, residents can register for email AirAlerts at, call 1(800) HELP-AIR, download the Spare the Air App or connect with Spare the Air on Facebook or Twitter.

View press release.

Last Updated: 9/21/2023