Northern California wildfire smoke prompts Bay Area air quality advisory

Smoke from wildfires in Northern California prompted air quality officials to issue an advisory for the Bay Area on Sunday afternoon as the Snell Fire continued to burn in Napa County.

Napa, Sonoma, Solano, Concord and eastern Alameda counties should expect hazy skies through Tuesday after northerly winds blow smoke into the upper atmosphere late Sunday afternoon, according to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.

Officials are not issuing a Spare the Air alert and said the smoke is not expected to impact air quality at the ground level, but warned Bay Area residents to stay inside with the windows and doors closed if the smell of smoke is present.

On Sunday, Cal Fire said the Snell Fire had grown to 2,400 acres as of 12:30 p.m. and remained only 15 percent contained.

The fire is burning in remote grassy oak woodlands that are difficult to access and is threatening 180 structures. It is centered near the intersection of Snell Valley Road and Butts Valley Road about eight miles southeast of Middletown in unincorporated Napa County.

The fire was first reported around 2:30 p.m. Saturday and is being fought by 480 firefighter. No structures have been damaged so far, and no injuries have been reported.

Evacuations remain in effect on the west side of Berryessa Knoxville Road from Pope Creek Bridge to the Lake-Napa County line, Snell Valley Road and all roads to Snell Valley and Berryessa Estates.

Berryessa Knoxville Road is closed from Putah Creek Bridge north to the county line. Snell Valley Road is closed at the intersection of Butts Canyon Road.

The Pope Valley Farm Center, on Chiles Pope Valley Road near the Pope Valley Fire station, has been set up as an evacuation center.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Bay City News contributed to this report.

Examiner Staff
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