The Bay Area Air Quality Management District has issued a Spare the Air alert for Thursday because of excessive smog and smoke expected in the region.
The alert, the 14th issued by the air district for the summer season, is the result of light winds, warm temperatures and smoke from the Soberanes Fire that is expected to cause unhealthy levels of smog, or ozone, in the Bay Area.
Smoke from the wildfire, which has burned more than 67,000 acres near Big Sur, is expected to impact the region through the rest of the week, air district officials said.
District officials are encouraging residents to reduce smog by seeking alternatives to driving alone when getting around the Bay Area.
"Residents should reduce their driving by carpooling, taking transit or working from home," air district executive officer Jack Broadbent said in a statement. "They should also avoid outdoor activities, especially if they smell smoke."
Smog can cause throat irritation, congestion, chest pain and other medical issues, and is particularly harmful for children, seniors and those with respiratory or heart conditions, air district officials said.
To find out when a Spare the Air alert is in effect, residents can register to receive an email at sparetheair.org, call 800-HELP-AIR, download the Spare the Air smartphone app or connect with Spare the Air on Facebook or Twitter.