SAN FRANCISCO—On Wednesday, August 19, thousands of residents in the San Francisco Bay Area were evacuated as a result of the nearly 40 wildfires currently blazing across the state of California. California is currently experiencing their second week of a heatwave. On Sunday, August 16, Death Valley reached temperatures of 130 degrees. The city of San Francisco is being blanketed by smoke.

On Tuesday, August 18, California Governor Gavin Newsom declared a statewide emergency. In a tweet, the Office of the Governor of California tweeted: Governor @GavinNewsom today declared a statewide emergency to help ensure the availability of vital resources to combat fires burning across the state, which have been exacerbated by the effects of the historic West Coast heat wave & sustained high winds.”

On Wednesday, August 19, the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management tweeted:

“If the smell of smoke is present, it is important that Bay Area residents protect their health by avoiding exposure. If possible, stay inside with windows and doors closed until smoke levels subside.”

“Set air conditioning units and car vent systems to re-circulate to prevent outside air from moving inside. Smoke can irritate the eyes and airways, causing coughing, a dry scratchy throat and irritated sinuses.,” the city’s Department of Emergency Management added.