In the San Francisco area, the terraces of the caf├ęs frequented by employees of Google and other giants of the tech are generally crowded at lunch time. Today, they are mostly deserted because of the pollution caused by the fires. A few passers-by, some wearing a mask on the face, rushed Monday afternoon to enter shops, in order to avoid the air acrid stagnant to the outside.

Although the fire murderous raging around the town of Paradise is 240 kilometres away, the region around the bay of San Francisco is covered for several days in a thick fog. The “Camp fire”, which razed the town of Paradise and is still burning, is the worst in the history of California. At least 77 people are dead, nearly a thousand are reported missing and more than 11,000 homes have been destroyed.

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The air of San Francisco was characterized as harmful for the twelfth consecutive day on Monday. Purple Air, a company that measures the quality of the air, has classified last week the northern California as having the air the most polluted in the world at this time. “If I don’t have my mask, I have the impression that I feel the deposits in the air,” said Eric Ryzl, as he delivers parcels.

Distribution of masks to the HOMELESS

meteorologists predict, however, improved with the rains expected for Wednesday. In the meantime, several schools and universities in the Bay Area remained closed Monday, and did not intend to reopen until the following week. Those that have opened their doors in spite of everything have cancelled during sports and other outdoor activities.

Joanne Doria studied at high school of Los Altos. She wears a mask “because (his) father is concerned” and says try to get the least possible. “The tiny particles from the smoke can damage the lungs, and I have a little asthma and a history of pneumonia”, she explains.

The parks and zoo were also closed, and the streets usually very busy at lunch time were empty. On the other side of the bay, a group called Mask Oakland is preparing to distribute over 50,000 masks to homeless and other people that are more exposed.

Classes cancelled at the university of california, Berkeley

The iconic Golden Gate Bridge was immersed in fog whereas the index of the quality of the air was 172. Any level above 151 is considered unhealthy and require that even healthy people should avoid spending too much time outside. The tourist sites such as the island of Alcatraz were closed, and some residents of the Bay Area have visited neighboring States of Nevada and Oregon in search of a purer air.

At the university of california, Berkeley, classes were cancelled Monday and Tuesday, and the president of the institution of the Carol Christ has sent a message to the students remaining on campus to inform them that libraries and classrooms have the best air filtration system.

Alan Wang and his three children are all wearing masks as they hurry to a cafe in Mountain View. Although he has tried to limit the time spent outside by his children in the past two weeks, the real estate agent tries to be optimistic in thinking back to the time that he spent in China in the 1990s. “I’ve lived in Beijing and it was much worse than that”, lance-t-il.