Choked by smoke, San Francisco opens homeless centers, urges residents to stay inside

The San Francisco Bay Bridge and city skyline are obscured in orange smoke on Wednesday
The San Francisco Bay Bridge and city skyline are obscured in orange smoke on Wednesday.
(AFP / Getty Images)

As officials across the Bay Area warned of more hazardous air quality from wildfires, San Francisco opened relief centers for homeless people Friday and urged everyone else to stay inside with windows and doors shut.

Air quality throughout much of the region on Friday was at “very unhealthy” levels. Mary Ellen Carroll, executive director of San Francisco’s Department of Emergency Services, said during an online news conference that older people, those with respiratory illnesses and children, were especially at risk.

She urged residents not to use leaf blowers, barbecues or hair spray, to avoid indoor painting and to use stove exhaust fans while cooking.


The skies around the Bay Area and other parts of Northern California took on an eerie glow as smoke from several fires enveloped the region.

“We are asking people to stay indoors with windows and doors closed,” she said.

The Bay Area was hit by surreal red and orange skies earlier this week and was still contending with smoke Friday as wildfires raged across Northern California.

Smoke was also fouling the air in Southern California.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District said smoke advisories will remain in effect through the day. Areas along the 210 Freeway from Pasadena to Rancho Cucamonga are likely to see the highest levels of particulate matter.

“Even in areas far from fires or areas not covered by a smoke advisory, if you can smell smoke or see ash from a wildfire, avoid or limit outdoor activities,” the district said.