Bay Area wildfires fill skies with smoke, prompt Spare the Air alerts

Smoke filled Bay Area skies Tuesday from multiple wildfires, most caused by lightning, triggering a Spare the Air alert for...

Smoke filled Bay Area skies Tuesday from multiple wildfires, most caused by lightning, triggering a Spare the Air alert for Tuesday and Wednesday.

Evacuations orders and warnings were also issued Tuesday in a number of Bay Area communities.

Residents of southern San Mateo County in the communities of Loma Mar and Dearborn Park, east of Pescadero, were told to prepare to evacuate Tuesday afternoon due to wildfires to the south in San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties. The complex of fires in that region, which had grown to at least 1,000 acres as of Tuesday with no containment reported, was sparked by lightning storms in the area Sunday, according to Cal Fire.

County parks including Pescadero Creek, Memorial and Sam McDonald are closed due to the fires, according to San Mateo County Parks officials. State parks are also affected including Butano State Park.

In Marin County a wind-driven fire in the Point Reyes area that was reported at 4:37 p.m. had consumed at least 700 acres by Tuesday evening and sent clouds of smoke through Marin and San Francisco counties. Evacuation warnings were in effect Tuesday evening for coastal areas in western Marin County, but no structures were reported threatened as of 9 p.m.

Elsewhere in the Bay Area, evacuations have been ordered in parts of Napa and Sonoma counties due to fires there also sparked by lightning.

Burning wood, manufactured fire logs or other solid fuel is banned both indoors and outdoors on days when the alerts are in effect, according to the air district. Bay Area residents are advised to stay inside if possible with windows and doors closed until smoke levels subside.

Residents can find out when a Spare the Air alert is in effect by texting “START” to 81757, registering for emails at www.sparetheair.org, calling (800) HELP-AIR, downloading the Spare the Air smartphone app or connecting with Spare the Air on Facebook or Twitter.

-Staff and wire reports

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