Smoke, haze from fires trigger alert

Smoke, haze from fires trigger alert

24 June 2008

published by

USA — Smoke and haze from the hundreds of northern California wildfires isso thick that San Francisco pollution officials declared an air-quality alert.

The smoke is heaviest in Napa and Solano counties north of the Bay Area dueto a major fire near Fairfield, Calif., but the hazy skies and smell of burningwood has become so ubiquitous that Northern Californians are getting accustomedto it, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Tuesday.

“It smells like you’re right near a campfire,” Benicia, Calif.,waitress Riley Krull, 18, told the newspaper.

“We’re advising people to use common sense,” Kristine Roselius, aspokeswoman for the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, said, warningpeople to avoid exercise in smoky conditions and to keep children out of thehaze.

State fire officials said more than 4,300 firefighters had joined local andfederal personnel to battle more than 800 fires from near the Oregon border tothe Sierra foothills to coastal Monterey County forests, the Contra Costa (Calif.)Times reported.

More than 112,000 acres had burned across Northern California, with 5,600homes threatened.

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