On Friday morning, air quality across the East Bay, including much of the Lamorinda area and Lafayette, California, degraded considerably, reaching unhealthy levels. According to air monitoring website Purple Air, the Air Quality Index in Lafayette, California reached 175, a level which is considered "unhealthy."
For many residents, even indoor air quality had degraded. In a Lafayette home on Friday morning, the indoor air quality index had reached 84, a Moderate level, according to my monitoring equipment. Outdoors, a halo of smoke partially obscured the sun in some areas, and a strong smoke smell was present throughout Lafayette. The smoke appeared relatively suddenly, as the Air Quality Index was at a moderate level as of the early morning.
The drop in air quality is the result of wildfire smoke, which appears to be drifting into the area. The Bay Area Air Quality District issued a Spare the Air alert for Friday, due to air quality which was rapidly worsening on Friday morning.
According to the National Weather Service, smoke was expected to be present in the East Bay at least through Saturday afternoon. The smoke was then expected to improve on Sunday. Radar showed patches of intense smoke in the area Friday morning, which appeared forecast to dissipate somewhat by the afternoon, before potentially returning Saturday morning.
During poor air conditions, residents should remain indoors and avoid outdoor exercise. Use an air purifier if you have one, and keep windows closed.
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