Hot, smoky skies shadow area; breezes back today

As the 11,000-acre fire in a remote area east of Morgan Hill known as the Lick blaze moved east Wednesday, the haze that hung over the Bay Area was not from that fire, but rather an even larger blaze roasting Plumas County, more than 200 miles away.

Smoke from the Moonlight fire — which has spread to approximately 15,000 acres northeast of Sacramento — added to the already smoggy, hot day around the Bay, with temperatures in the high 80s for many parts of the area.

“The same winds from the northeast that are warming us up are bringing the smoke down here,” said Meteorologist Steve Anderson from the National Meteorological Service.

The lack of sea breeze meant warm temperatures even in San Francisco, where the midday 82 degrees was more than 10 degrees warmer than normal.

And although the sky was browned-out in smoke in some parts of the state, conservation by residents and businesses prevented PG&E from having any forced blackouts or power outages, PG&E spokesman Joe Molica said.

By using appliances later in the evening and using fans instead of air conditioners, users were able to save approximately 300 megawatts of power from the state’s usualpeak of more than 54,000 megawatts. Molica said 300 megawatts is roughly equivalent to the output of one power plant.

Anderson said the sea breeze should return for the rest of the week, and bring temperatures down, to the mid 70s around San Francisco and the low 80s along the Peninsula.

jgoldman@examiner.com

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