Wildfires, heat, unhealthy air... Bad year for California
PIC: AFP

Northern Californians were confronted with multiple threats as wildfires, unhealthy smoky air, extreme heat, the looming possibility of power outages and an ongoing pandemic forced many to weigh the risks of staying indoors or going outside.

Ash sprinkled the ground and smoke from several wildfires cast an eerie glow over much of the San Francisco Bay Area on Wednesday, creating unhealthy air quality and heightening concerns about people most prone to respiratory illnesses. As ozone pollution reached unhealthy levels in some places, the region's air district and public health officials urged people to stay inside with windows and doors shut until the smoke subsided.

There was no relief in sight: the forecast for Thursday called for some of the worst air in the world, with the air quality index doubling in the densely populated parts of the Bay Area.

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