Weather conditions aid firefight but diminish air quality for Sonoma County residents

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Photo by John Burgess/The Press Democrat

The buildup of smoky air in North Bay communities since Sunday represented yet another health threat for local residents, but for firefighters, it signaled the persistence of calmer conditions that have allowed crews to gain ground on week-old wildfires.

The dropoff in wind in the hills, however, has led to smoke accumulation in more settled valleys across Sonoma County and the greater Bay Area, posing a threat to children or residents with health risks, especially if they’re outside for a prolonged period or choose to exercise in the open.

Th air quality index rose as high as 152 on Monday, well above the 100 federal health standard for healthy air, according to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. A Spare the Air alert remains in effect through Wednesday, banning any wood-burning or fires both inside and outdoors.

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