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article imageBlame those hazy skies, spectacular sunsets on wildland fires

By Nathan Salant     Aug 16, 2015 in Environment
Monterey - Got haze? San Francisco Bay Area residents are in for another two days of smoky air as rising temperatures combined with wind-blown manifestations of Northern California wildland fires.
The hazy conditions that enveloped the region on Saturday expected to continue today and Monday, when a shift in wind direction is finally expected.
Warm weather is expected to continue, too, as temperatures reach the 80s in San Francisco and the 90s and 100s inland on Sunday, according to Steve Anderson, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Monterey.
The Bay Area Air Quality Management District has issued a Spare the Air alert for Sunday to warn residents with respiratory problems to stay indoors as much as possible to avoid breathing problems, according to the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper.
But it could be worse, much worse.
A string of wildfires, many still burning, are impacting thousands of miles of homes and summer vacation land in Northern and Southern California.
Seventeen fires are burning in California from Lake County to Riverside but 13,000 firefighters have those blazes mostly contained, the newspaper said.
“Everyone’s kind of smoked in right now,” said Erica Hupp, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Forest Service in the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, where teams of firefighters from federal, state and local fire departments have limited the Eagle Two Fire to 150 acres.
But the Jerusalem Fire (25.000 acres) and Rocky Fire (70,000 acres) in Lake County are still burning, although firefighters have containment lines around them.
The Anza Fire in Riverside County, lightning fires in Humboldt County and the Mark Fire in Calaveras County have been mostly contained as of Saturday morning, the newspaper said.
Winds are expected to continue at between 8 and 18 miles per hour with gusts of up to 25, the newspaper said.
"People's respiratory conditions may be impacted," said Jan Null, a meteorologist with Golden Gate Weather Services.
A high-pressure weather pattern responsible for the winds also is keeping smoke from the fires near the ground, Null said.
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