Smoke from the Kincade Fire in Sonoma Valley arrived in the Palo Alto area this afternoon (Oct. 28).
Not only can you smell it, but it is dimming the sunlight.
Unfortunately, the Bay Area Air Quality District’s map showing pollution readings has been removed from its website due to “technical reasons.”
High winds are a “mixed blessing” since they can blow away unhealthy smoke but could also kick up the fire raging in Sonoma County, said Lisa Fasano, spokeswoman for the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.
During periods of heavy smoke, residents should stay inside with windows and doors closed until it subsides. It is also recommended that air-conditioning units and car vent systems be set to re-circulate, air district officials said.
Residents should remember, however, that heat is the most important health factor to consider, Fasano said.
“People need to stay cool, that’s the highest priority,” Fasano said. When temperatures soar, residents should go to cooling centers or seek other areas that provide filtered air such as libraries or movie theaters.
Meanwhile, PG&E has cut power 13,547 customers in the mid-Peninsula. Most of those who lost power in this pre-emptive shutdown live west of Alameda de las Pulgas.
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The power shutoffs began last night and will remain until the winds die down. Once PG&E gives an all-clear, it could take a couple of days before the power lines are checked to ensure they weren’t damaged during the winds.
Meanwhile, PG&E is forecasting another wind storm that could mean a second major electrical shutoff this week, lasting Tuesday night through Thursday morning.
This coming shutdown could happen in 32 counties including Santa Clara and San Mateo.
“The dry, windy weather pattern is expected to reach from the northern portions of PG&E’s service territory and down through the Sacramento Valley, before spreading into the central areas of the state, including the Bay Area,” the utility said in a statement.
— Staff and wire reports