BERKELEY—On Wednesday, August 19, the city of Berkeley announced a warning of poor air quality due to smoke from wildfires around the Bay Area. According to AirNow, the air quality index reached 149 out of 500, and the air quality is unhealthy for sensitive groups, including people with heart or lung disease, older adults, children, and pregnant individuals.

According to city’s website, “Air quality levels are rated ‘moderate’ at the Berkeley air monitor in Aquatic Park as of 1 pm on Wednesday, August 19. Be aware that conditions can change quickly depending on the wind and other factors.” They requests people check out the city’s air quality webpage frequently, reduce physical activity, stay indoors, and close windows and doors.

Individuals are recommended to:

      • Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water.
      • Set air condition units to re-circulate so you don’t bring outside air in.
      • Don’t smoke, burn candles, or use incense.
      • Don’t use gas, propane, or wood-burning stoves. Avoid frying or broiling meat.
      • Avoid vacuuming.

In addition, the city of Berkeley listed up tips for citizens to prepare for rolling blackouts regarding statewide heatwave:

      • Set thermostats to 78 degrees or higher. When you’re not at home, turn thermostats to 85 degrees.
      • Close drapes and blinds to keep rooms cool.
      • Don’t turn on your oven.
      • Use ceiling fans to keep rooms cool, even if you have air condition. Keeping a ceiling fan running allows you to raise the thermostat by 4 degrees with no reduction in comfort.
      • Turn off lights and fans when you leave a room.
      • Limit use of energy-intensive appliances like washing machines and dishwashers during peak hours. Clean clothes and dishes early in the morning or after 10 pm at night.

Citizens should prepare backup power sources and emergency supplies and sign up for PG&E outage alerts and emergency notifications from the city of Berkeley.