Air quality warning issued for Bay Area due to wine country fires

Fire (file photo). Photo: Martijn Snels/Creative Commons

Wildfires raging through several Northern California counties have prompted regional officials to issue an air quality warning for the entire Bay Area.

“Heavy smoke from wildfires in the North Bay counties is causing very unhealthy air quality throughout the region and the smoke is moving into other parts of the Bay Area due to winds,” said a Bay Area Air Quality Management District notice sent out through the Alameda County alert system around 2:15 p.m. Monday.

The agency advised residents to stay inside if possible, and to keep windows and doors closed, to prevent respiratory issues and watery eyes caused by smoke.

At least one person has died from ongoing blazes in Sonoma, Mendocino, Napa and other northern counties, and dozens more are being treated for injuries. Thousands of people were ordered to evacuate from their homes as the fires ripped through their neighborhoods.


Berkeley had its own scare early Monday morning too, as a grass fire broke out in Tilden Park around 3:45 a.m. Crews had the fire, on Golf Course Road and Ajax Place, under control by 5:20 a.m.

Berkeleyside readers reported being woken up in the middle of the night by the smell of smoke.

“Whole house smells like someone upended a BBQ,” wrote Twitter user st. norah around 5:40 a.m.

“Smoke smell woke me up (instincts are amazing),” tweeted Eric Panzer.

Update, Oct. 11: A red flag warning is in effect through Thursday. See the latest.