July 27, 2021

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Are you smelling smoke in the Bay Area? Here’s where it’s coming from, and where air quality stands – San Francisco Chronicle

2 min read

According to the National Weather Service, the smoky aroma is likely from fires in the Southwest, probably Arizona, where three communities in the southeastern part of that state have been ordered to evacuate after a fire jumped containment lines. Temperatures in Arizona are expected to surpass 110 degrees across the state.

In the Bay Area, temperatures over 100 are forecast for the outer East Bay and the North Bay hills and valleys but winds are expected to be light and no fire warnings have yet been issued. A heat advisory for much of the region was scheduled to take effect at 11 a.m. Wednesday.

Air quality across the Bay Area Wednesday morning was generally rated as “good” or “moderate” across the region, according to The Chronicle’s air-quality tracker.

But a spare the air alert was issued for Thursday in the Bay Area due to smog accumulation from the Southwest fires.

Gerry Diaz, a National Weather Service meteorologist for the Bay Area, said the smell of smoke is likely strongest in the foothills, particularly in the Santa Cruz Mountains as smoke from the southwest makes its way around the high pressure system that’s causing hot weather throughout the west.

“We realize that especially given last year’s fires there is that more enhanced concern” he said, “but we do want to emphasize that if smoke is being smelled, especially up in the mountains and on the foothills, that is due to that smoke coming in from fires that are well to our east.”

Despite the lack of fire warnings, Cal Fire officials advise people to exercise caution, particularly when operating equipment, including vehicles in dry grassy areas.

Chronicle staff writer Danielle Echeverria contributed to this report.

Michael Cabanatuan is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: mcabanatuan@sfchronicle.com Twitter:@ctuan

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