San Francisco Will Smell Like a Campfire for a Few More Days

Residents of the NorCal city experienced an uncomfortable fit of déjà vu Tuesday when a thick, smoky haze swallowed San Franciso and much of the Bay Area.

On Tuesday, September 19th, San Franciscans and other Bay Area locals smelled a familiar, unsettling scent: wildfire smoke. Still-growing wildfires in Northern California and Oregon have filled the skies above them with smoke — and that very same smoke has worked its way down to our slice of California, hazing our skies.

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District issued an Air Quality Advisory Tuesday that will remain in effect Wednesday, though it could stretch into Thursday and potentially Friday; the fires responsible for San Francisco (and the greater Bay Area) smelling like a campfire are still burning. Thankfully, air quality readings have yet to exceed federal health standards, but the air quality remains “moderate to unhealthy” in most of the SF Bay Area, Napa Valley, and areas around the Sacramento Valley.

In addition to the hellacious, lung-itching arid, the National Weather Service has implemented a Fire Watch for the North Bay that will remain in effect until Thursday morning. The forecasted dry, gusty winds will increase the fire risk in parts of Napa and Sonoma Counties, northern Solano County, and the Sacramento Valley.

As for San Francisco, weather forecasts and air quality predictions have the seven-by-seven sitting between moderate and unhealthy air quality readings through the rest of today and potentially into Thursday as smoke continues blowing in from Northern California wildfires.

For the next day or two, it’s wise to limit your outdoor activities — e.g. lil’ mental health walks, run around the Panhandle, bike rides to Trader Joe’s, etc. — and snuggle up to your air purifier.  And don’t forget to don your N95 masks, too. 

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