Smoke reaches Bay area, but really hits Sacramento Valley
SAN FRANCISCO – Winds eased Monday, bringing some relief for parts of Northern California where the air was a hazy brown for much of the weekend.
The smoke caused ugly air as far as 200 miles from some of the larger fires, air quality officials said.
The smoke Monday was nothing compared to the weekend assault, particularly in the Sacramento Valley ”which was really hammered,” said Lori Kobza-Lee, spokeswoman for the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District.
”The winds on Saturday hit 30 miles an hour with gusts over that,” she said. ”The smoke got trapped because of high pressure and couldn’t escape. It was much better on Monday.”
Still, visibility at San Francisco International Airport was only four miles at 4 a.m. Monday, according to airport duty manager Bob Schneider.
”It was definitely smoke and haze, but things cleared up by 9 a.m. and there were no flight delays,” he said.
The smoke was much thicker during the weekend, but there were no problems Saturday and Sunday, he said.
”I’m not sure why,” Schneider said. ”It was bad and I could smell it.”
The fallout from the fires on Saturday dropped ash on some cars in Sacramento, but by Sunday the weather was balmy and clear. In the Sacramento Delta, however, air was brownish and smelled faintly of smoke.
Susan Martin, 51, said she spent Saturday shopping in San Francisco and said she ”could barely breathe” on the way home.
While skies cleared in Sacramento on Sunday, high overnight winds drove ash into Sonoma County, most of it coming from a fire in Yolo County, 35 air miles from Santa Rosa.