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Winds to keep SF smoky from North Bay fires for at least another day

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San Francisco State University canceled classes because of smoke drifting to The City from the North Bay fires. (Courtesy SFSU via Twitter)
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San Franciscans will likely have to breathe in smoky air for at least another day as fires continue to burn in the North Bay, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service said Thursday.

Rick Canepa, a meteorologist with NWS in Monterey, said wind flow from the North Bay fires is “just about perfectly aligned” to blow smoke into San Francisco.

“Looking at the smoke forecast, I’m not seeing a whole lot of improvement going into tonight and into tomorrow,” Canepa said on Thursday, though he added that residents may have some relief overnight and in the evenings.

The Environmental Protection Agency deemed the air quality “unhealthy” in San Francisco on Thursday and charts show that Friday will not be much better.

The EPA urged children, the elderly and people with heart or lung disease to avoid heavy exertion. City officials are urging the public to wear protective masks.

The smoke was so severe that San Francisco State University canceled classes Thursday evening through the weekend. The San Francisco Unified School District, on the other hand, is limiting outdoor activity for children.

“As the devastating fires continue to affect communities in Northern California, we are keeping them in our thoughts, and we stand ready to support and assist in any way that we can,” SFSU President Leslie Wong said in a statement.

SFSU is keeping some buildings open for students who live on campus.

The university will decide this weekend as to whether to hold classes Monday.

SFUSD spokesperson Heidi Anderson said in an email that the district decided to stay open but is monitoring the air quality situation in The City.

“If San Francisco’s air quality is downgraded further, we will consult with the Department of Public Health and provide families and staff with an update,” Anderson said.

San Francisco has four libraries open with filtered air. Those libraries are the Main Library, the Chinatown Branch Library, the Glen Park Branch Library and the Mission Bay Library.

S.F. Examiner Staff Writer Laura Waxmann contributed to this report.

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