San Francisco chokes on toxic air as wildfires rage

A wildfire in California

On the fifth day of the fires, November 12, US President, Donald trump declared California area major natural disaster. Smoke from the Camp Fire hangs heavy in the air in the San Francisco Bay Area, almost 200 miles south of the fire, causing a number of residents to don face respirator masks.

In Northern California's Butte County, firefighters continued to battle what has become the deadliest wildfire in California's history on Friday as the number of people reported missing doubled to more than 600.

The rain will wash away the smoke and smog in the air caused by the Camp Fire up north on Butte County, and eradicate the unhealthy air choking the Bay Area since last week, prompting the closure of schools, festivities and sports competitions.

"It's bad", said local resident Melvin Karsenti.

For now, Roselius said, "You really can't see the city from the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge". The air feels thicker. Persons with chronic lung or heart disease or other medical conditions, should check with their healthcare provider before using an N95 mask, as they can make breathing more hard.

The Camp Fire was first reported on November 8 and has still not been fully contained.

Much of the rescue work is now focused on Paradise, a community that was home to many retirees who found themselves unable to get out in time.

"I'm still going to keep on looking and hope for the best", said Jonathan Clark, who was hunting for his brother, sister-in-law, and nephew. As of earlier today, the fire had burned 138,000 acres and was 35-percent contained.

"My dad is starting to lose hope a little bit", he added.

Three other people have died in southern California in another blaze dubbed the Woolsey Fire, which engulfed parts of Malibu, destroying the homes of several celebrities.

The devastating Camp Fire has claimed at least 59 lives and destroyed 10,321 structures.

Public health officials said 41 people had been sick with vomiting and diarrhoea as of Wednesday evening and 25 had to be hospitalised.

Peter Beilenson, the county's Department of Health Services director, said the county made a decision to stop handing out the masks because they aren't necessary and are potentially harmful.

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