‘It’s Like a Fog’: Smoke from Butte County Severely Impacts Air Quality Throughout Region

SACRAMENTO -- Smoke from the Camp Fire has drifted into the valley, severely impacting the air quality.

“It's like a fog. I mean you can't see the sky. The sky's not blue. It's a really strong smell of smoke and it's a little bit scary,” Elizabeth Miller said Saturday while visiting Old Sacramento.

Air quality across the Sacramento area ranged from unhealthy to hazardous for much of the day.

Miller says the poor air quality has already impacted their weekend plans.

“We had plans to go to Oakland today, to the zoo,” she said. “It's changed our weekend plans. We made different plans so we can stay inside so we can avoid being outside as much as possible which is sad because I have teenage boys who really like to be outside.”

Instead, Miller’s family spent the day ducking in and out of shops in Old Sacramento, and taking every precaution.

“We have allergies to the smoke and it's causing some coughing and sneezing and it's keeping us from doing what we wanted to be doing,” she told FOX40.

Many people out and about Saturday opted to wear masks or cover their faces.

Railyard Kitchen owner Troy Paski says the conditions forced him to close some of the doors to his restaurant and says he's concerned it could impact his bottom line.

“I can't tell as far as business goes but I know it seems a little slower,” he said.

But he understands why fewer people are out this weekend.

“A shortness of breath, my lungs feel a little full,” Paski said. “It feels like I could use some oxygen.”

Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management District spokeswoman Jenny Tan is warning the public about prolonged exposure to wildfire smoke.

“It can go deep into the lungs. It can also travel through your body and it can cause health effects such as headaches and watery eyes, and it can also exacerbate issues especially if you have asthma or heart and lung disease,” Tan said.

Tan encourages people to stay indoors while the air quality remains at unhealthy levels.

“You can see the smoke, you can smell the smoke,” Tan said. “So we're just trying to tell people to get out of it if possible and to really reduce their exposure to the smoke.”

A number of events around the Sacramento area were canceled, including Veterans Day parades in Elk Grove and Sacramento, a Sac State Hornets football game and the Clarksburg Country Run.