San Francisco air quality worst level on its record

Air Quality Index advice

Air Quality Index advice

While the cause of the Camp Fire is still under investigation, a lawsuit has been filed against the local power company, PG&E, by fire victims claiming negligence.

Schools and tourist attractions across the San Francisco Bay Area were shut on Friday and residents were urged to stay indoors as smoke from California's deadliest wildfire - a three-hour drive away - produced air quality levels worse than in South Asia's polluted megacities.

"The safety of students and staff is paramount and the poor air quality conditions throughout the Bay Area made this necessary step", said L. Karen Monoe, superintendent of Alameda County schools.

The smoke has also affected air quality in northwestern California. As of Friday morning, San Francisco had an air quality index rating ranging from the high 200s to 313 in different parts of the city.

The AQI count is expected to rise tonight into Sunday into the 151 to 200 range for nearly the entire Bay Area. According to ecologists, the health of everyone who breathes this air, is in danger. This means that people in real danger and can begin the evacuation of the population.

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Air rated as being "very unhealthy", meaning more serious health effects may be felt by everyone, ranks from 201 to 300, while "hazardous" air is anything ranking above 300.

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"For the Bay Area, the main contributor to that count is fine particulates in the smoke", Kristine Roselius, a Bay Area Air Quality Management District spokeswoman, said this afternoon.

Earlier this week, California Public Health officials warned those living or working in areas where smoke is present to reduce their exposure to the outdoors and to wear a respirator mask if they must go outside.

Lizzie Johnson, a reporter for the newspaper the San Francisco Chronicle, argues that ordinary breathing in San Francisco is now the equivalent of 11.5 viktorovnu cigarettes.

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