A growing population, congested roads, and new construction sites have also contributed to heightened ambient particle pollution in the Bay Area, with construction sites in particular being somewhat of a ‘silent’ pollution source, responsible for releasing into the air matter such as micro plastics, super finely ground dusts such as concrete and silica, as well as releasing metals such as lead into the atmosphere, particularly when they are poorly maintained or covered during the construction process. In the case of San Francisco, waters from the Pacific Ocean are cold and reduce ground temperatures in surrounding areas. Follow recommendations for the "Hazardous category." 2020 represented a historic year for both wildfires and unhealthy air pollution days. Pollen and Air Quality forecast for San Francisco, CA with air quality index, pollutants, pollen count and pollution map from Weather Underground. California fire is now a 'gigafire,' a rare designation for a blaze that burns at least a million acres. AQI: Unhealthy (151 - 200) [2] Top 20 most destructive California wildfires. This interactive map shows air quality data for the Bay Area and California, updated every 10 minutes. (2020). San Francisco Air Quality Index (AQI) is now Moderate. Realtime broadcasting air quality information on your phone for more than 180 countries. Prevention methods, such as creating fire lines and removing volatile forest undergrowth through low-intensity “prescribed fires,” offer effective ways to reduce the size and ecological impact of wildfires in the Bay Area. 2017 was a record-breaking year for burned acreage in California, quickly superseded by 2018 and then 2020. In recent years, roughly 20-25% of calendar days averaged “moderate” or worse air quality within San Franscisco. This hourly ranking includes 2347 USA cities with PM2.5 AQI. During cold conditions, occasionally a layer of warmer air can become held above a cooler of ground-level air, when usually the opposite arrangement is true. [6] SF Environment - Clean Fuels and Vehicles. These temperatures are often significantly colder than the winds moving over the region from inland locations. On Saturday, the Environmental Protection Agency's air quality monitoring— Air Now —reported PM2.5 levels of 165 in its Air Quality Index (AQI) in San Francisco, classified as "unhealthy." California wildfires have become more frequent and severe in recent years. Realtime broadcasting air quality information on your phone for more than 180 countries. CNN. The higher the AQI value, the greater the level of air pollution and the greater the health concern. The recent increase in the number of unhealthy PM2.5 days in San Francisco is primarily attributable to a surge in wildfires. Orange indicates an air quality index of 101-150 (unhealthful for sensitive groups) and red is 151-200 (unhealthful). 2018 experienced severe wildfires, and thus experienced a 26% increase in PM2.5 over the course of a year from 2017. Other issues related to the breathing of burnt organic matter can include permanent reduction in lung capacity, which has the ability to stunt growth in young children as well as causing cognitive defects. By contrast, in regards to when air quality is at its worst, the months of January, November and December in 2019 emerged as the most polluted in terms PM2.5 levels, with readings of 10.7 μg/m3, 14.5 μg/m3, and 8.2 μg/m3 respectively. Historical San Francisco - CA PM10, PM2.5, TSP, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, ozone information also included. Increasingly tight regulations against industrial activity and related emission sources are to credit. The good air quality rating in San Francisco can be attributed to the city’s coastal location, as well as its natural topography and having a sparse level of factories and other industrial production plants around the city limits. The consequences of this has been a reduction in amount of days with an “unhealthy” rating of air quality. AirNow is your one-stop source for air quality data. Get the app, Reduce your air pollution exposure in San Francisco. [9] Kaur H. (2020, October 6). In 2019, for example, San Francisco experienced a 43.7% decrease in PM2.5 levels from the year prior, though this reduction is attributed largely to the reduction in severe wildfires and not from emission reductions from other sources. Read the air pollution in San Francisco, California with AirVisual. + Article Resources [7] SF Environment - Clean Fuels and Vehicles. During the Camp Fire in November … Therefore, it is in the interests of San Francisco and Bay Area residents to minimize both air pollution emissions, and human exposure to the the present air pollution, as much as possible. On a larger scale, despite a growing population and economy, air pollution in the Bay Area has improved significantly in the last 30 years since the 1990 amendments to the Clean Air Act. November’s high average reading can be partly attributed to the Ranch fire, which burned more than 2,534 acres of forestland, releasing high amounts of noxious fumes and particulate pollution into the air.4. In the last three years, five of the most destructive California wildfires were in relatively close proximity to San Francisco, greatly impacting the quality of air across the Bay Area.2 In November 2018, the Camp fire burned 153,336 acres of land and drove San Francisco’s AQI for the month up to 137, putting it into the “unhealthy for sensitive groups” bracket, which poses concern for young children, the elderly and those with a predisposition to respiratory ailments. California’s new normal: How the climate crisis is fueling wildfires and changing life in the Golden State. Wildfires in the Bay Area have been growing in size and frequency over the last two decades. (2020). This website is no longer updated and links to external websites and some internal pages may not work. SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — There is plenty of confusion when it comes to Air Quality Index readings during this time of smoke-filled skies from the historic outbreak of wildfires. To navigate to the current AirNow website, please go to airnow.gov. Air pollution levels in other Bay Area cities, such as San Jose and Oakland, experienced a similar rise. By Alix Martichoux Tuesday, September 29, 2020 SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Smoke from the Glass Fire Incident burning in Napa and Sonoma is starting to … Useful to citizen scientists or air quality professionals alike, PurpleAir sensors are easy to install, requiring only a power outlet and WiFi. A number of other fires occurred over the course of 2018, including the Kincade, Carr, and Mendocino Complex Fires, further elevating San Francisco’s air pollution levels. (2020). Localized Air Quality Index and forecast for San Francisco, CA. Furthermore, during instances of higher pollution levels, either due to vehicular activity or the occurrence of a forest fire (or a combination of both), pollution levels can quickly climb to the point where they become to have the potential to cause several negative effects upon inhalation. Whilst the quality of air in the Bay Area is of relatively good quality in comparison to global locations, and San Francisco’s annual (2019) PM2.5 level of 7.1 μg/m3 achieves the World Health Organisation’s target level of 10 μg/m3, the WHO emphasizes that even at low levels, there is no known “safe” limit for particle pollution below which no negative health impacts may be observed. Ezra … San Francisco air quality index is 37, ranked #273 in California. The shift has coincided with rising temperatures and changing weather patterns, as a result of anthropogenic (human-influenced) climate change. Millbrae: AQI (US) 87 Moderate, Pollen 5.3 Medium. [4] Cal-Fire - Ranch Fire. Preemptive firefighting includes clearing fire lines and thinning forest underbrush that can act as a volatile tinder particularly during the drier months, and as such has an increased tendency to catch fire and create conditions for a mega fire to occur. This is not the current AirNow website. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Prevention (CAL FIRE) estimates that 8-10 million acres urgently require thinning and prescribed burning in order to prevent mega-fires from occurring, or future disastrous wildfires.8 In coordination with the U.S. Forest Service, they aim to thin a million acres a year, which represents an extremely ambitious yet achievable target. Residents should still limit driving and wood burning to reduce air pollution and greenhouse gases. [3] Ray S, Miller B, and Jones J. Although general public is not likely to be affected at this AQI range, people with lung disease, older adults and children are at a greater risk from exposure to ozone, whereas persons with heart and lung disease, older adults and children are at greater risk from the presence of particles in the air. (2020). Without taking into account the effects of potential wildfires, winter months are commonly much more polluted than the summer season, often as a result of increased heating and wood burning taking place. These inversions can therefore prolong and exacerbate existing air pollution and smog in San Francisco and the Bay Area during wintertime. Pollen and Air Quality forecast for San Francisco, CA with air quality index, pollutants, pollen count and pollution map from Weather Underground. The Hunters Point and Potrero Hill power plants were closed in 2006 and 2010 respectively, while other industrial businesses have since moved out of the city. During the same period, the amount of annual acreage burned has increased eight-fold. This indicates that whilst the smoke given off by the large number of fires occurring across the Bay Area region increased air pollution levels dramatically for short periods of time, the air quality on average throughout the year remained at a relatively low level, despite experiencing noxious smoke and fumes emitted from the burning areas of forestland. Despite fewer power plants and industrial businesses as well as a growing mix of cleaner energy, San Francisco still experiences periods of unhealthy air quality. Interested in hourly forecast? [5] Days with an EPA Air Quality Index Rating of "Good". Find out more about contributors and data sources, Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD), Open your windows to bring clean, fresh air indoors. See how the California wildfires are impacting air quality near you. Get real-time, historical and forecast PM2.5 and weather data. 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