News Alerts

10 Nov 2018 | 08:59 PM UTC

US: California wildfire smoke causes flight delays, hazardous air Nov. 10

United States of America News Alert

Smoke from the Camp Fire causes flight delays at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and brings unhealthy air quality conditions to Bay Area and northern California

TIMEFRAME expected from 11/9/2018, 12:00 AM until 11/13/2018, 11:59 PM (America/Los_Angeles). COUNTRY/REGION California, San Francisco International Airport (SFO), Mendocino county, San Francisco Bay Area


Smoke from the deadly Camp Fire in northern California is causing flight delays at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and producing unhealthy air quality conditions for large swaths of the state as of Saturday, November 10. The Camp Fire, which is burning 40,400 hectares (100,000 acres) approximately 230 km (143 mi) away, is sending smoke southwest in amounts large enough to impede visibility at SFO and result in delayed flights of an average of 48 minutes.

The smoke is also resulting in unhealthy air quality conditions in northern California. Much of the greater San Francisco Bay Area, from Santa Cruz to Santa Rosa and including the Sacramento region, is recording Air Quality Index (AQI) ratings of 160 or higher which are categorized as "unhealthy." Further north, Mendocino county is in the second most dangerous ranking, with a "very unhealthy" AQI number of 246. Conditions are projected to improve slightly as winds adjust, but generally reduced air quality is expected to persist as the Camp Fire continues to burn. Authorities warn that unhealthy and very unhealthy air quality can lead to serious health effects for all individuals.


The Camp Fire started around 06:30 (local time) on November 8 near Paradise and rapidly spread to 40,400 hectares (100,000 acres) by the morning of November 10. The fire is 20 percent contained as of 09:40 on Saturday. At least nine people have died in the fire.

Wildfires are common in California from May through November.


Individuals in northern California are advised to monitor local weather and air quality reports, refrain from outdoor or strenuous activity, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities. Individuals traveling through SFO or surrounding airports are advised to confirm the status of their flight and anticipate delays.


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