OAKLAND, Calif. (KGTV) - Smoke from wildfires had many California residents staying indoors Sunday but the Los Angeles Chargers and Oakland Raiders game carried on at the Oakland Coliseum.
The Air Quality Index for much of San Francisco and the surrounding areas was in the Environmental Protection Agency’s “red” zone, indicating the air was unhealthy to breathe.
Fans and coaches donned masks while players were forced to inhale the smoke on the field. The NFL had monitored the situation but the AQI never got near 200, the level where the game would have needed to be moved, the Associated Press reported.
Philip Rivers led the Chargers to a sixth straight win, defeating the Raiders 20-6.
The EPA warning said people with heart or lung disease, older adults and children should avoid prolonged or heavy exertion.
A smoke advisory remained in effect Sunday due to the Woolsey Fire, which was causing unhealthy air quality affecting everyone in areas directly impacted by smoke, including coastal Los Angeles County, the San Fernando Valley, the Santa Clarita Valley, the San Gabriel Valley, the San Gabriel Mountains and the Pomona-Walnut Valley.
The South Coast Air Quality Management District said western winds brought unhealthful levels of smoke and ash particulate into most of the South Coast Air Basin, which includes Orange County and non-desert areas of Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties, overnight. However, on Sunday morning, Santa Ana winds from the northeast had started to push smoke away from southern Orange and Riverside counties and were expected to continue to alleviate conditions in the northern San Fernando Valley and Los Angeles metro area through the day and into Monday.
Smoke was expected to remain at unhealthy levels closest to the fire, in the western San Fernando Valley and northwest coastal Los Angeles County.
``It is difficult to tell where ash or soot from a fire will go, or how winds will affect the level of dust particles in the air, so we ask everyone to be aware of their immediate environment and to take actions to safeguard their health,'' said Dr. Muntu Davis, health officer for Los Angeles County, in an earlier statement.
Wildfire smoke is a mixture of small particles, gases and water vapor, and the primary health concern is the small particles, which can cause burning eyes, runny nose, scratchy throat, headaches and bronchitis, health officials said. In people with sensitive conditions, the particles can cause difficulty breathing, wheezing, coughing, fatigue, and/or chest pain.
City News Service contributed to this report.