With hundreds of wildfires burning across the state, and huge complex fires affecting the air quality in nearly every Bay Area county, residents are understandably wondering how to deal with multiple crises: raging fires, widespread smoke and the coronavirus pandemic.
In the "before times" — pre-COVID-19 — residents in smoky areas would avoid going outside and would stock up on N95 or N100 masks to protect themselves from the fine particulate matter that gets into the air when a wildfire burns, which can have some nasty affects on your health.
But, with those masks in short supply and desperately needed by health care workers and first responders on the front lines, how can Californians best protect themselves from fires and COVID-19?
In short: it's not clear. Even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention can't give exact advice on what the best path forward is. These simultaneous events are unprecedented, so here's the best advice we can give, for now, and we'll update this post when we know more.