Air Quality Woes, Be Damned — We’re Green!

Store those N95 masks — good air quality is back.

The San Francisco skyline is seen as smoke engulfs the Bay Area following multiple fires in Napa and Sonoma Counties Monday, October 9, 2017. (Jessica Christian/S.F. Examiner)

The color green, how we have missed thee.

At least, in the context of droughts and — for the past 10 days — desperately checking the air quality amid several fires. But as of Thursday morning, Environmental Protection Agency’s AirNow site flashes green, meaning air quality is considered satisfactory.

Downtown’s Air Quality Index (AQI) of 17 as of 11 a.m. means no health warnings, no N95 masks, and no more shuttering ourselves inside. Last Friday, the AQI hit an unhealthy level of 162 — on par with Beijing, China.

Some regions, like the Peninsula, East Bay and San Jose have moderate quality while a small orange bubble hovers around Santa Cruz.

“[It’s] the first time in 10 days it’s been that way,” says Bay Area Air Quality Management District’s spokesperson Ralph Borrmann of the good-to-moderate levels. 

This time of the year, without summer heat or winter wood burning, is generally good for air quality, Borrmann says. However, a Spare the Air alert is still issued for today and could continue, depending on conditions.

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