Brutal Wildfire Smoke Chokes the East Bay

Wildfire smoke conditions were extremely poor in Lafayette, California, and the Lamorinda area on Wednesday morning.

Smoke is reportedly drifting into the region from fires in far Northern California. Weather conditions are trapping the smoke at ground level, resulting in air quality that has reached the unhealthy range.

The Bay Area Telegraph observed that the entire East Bay region is experiencing hazy conditions as a result of the smoke. Visibility is reduced, and one the morning commute into the city, smoke was visible above the Lamorinda Hills.

Additionally, a strong smell of smoke is present throughout the East Bay. We observed that this is not as strong as in some past wildfire events where fires were burning close to the Bay Area. However, it is still highly detectable.

On the Bay Area Telegraph’s own monitoring station in Lafayette, California, the Air Quality Index (AQI) had reached a value of 150+ on Wednesday morning. That is Unhealthy air quality.

This reading was confirmed by Purple Air, which shows readings in the 140-160 range for the region.

Screenshot via Purple Air

Outdoor recess and outdoor activities were canceled at many schools in the area. Parents reported receiving communications from local schools about the air quality.

Given the poor air quality, it’s best to stay indoors today is possible. There’s no word yet on how air quality might affect the Lafayette Art and Wine festival currently scheduled for this weekend.

Thomas Smith

Thomas Smith is a food and travel photographer and writer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. His photographic work routinely appears in publications including Food and Wine, Conde Nast Traveler, and the New York Times and his writing appears in IEEE Spectrum, SFGate, the Bold Italic and more. Smith holds a degree in Cognitive Science (Neuroscience) and Anthropology from the Johns Hopkins University.

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