Northern fires continue to push smoke into Valley

Valley air district warns smoke will continue to come into the valley as long as northern California fires continue

CENTRAL VALLEY – Wildfires and gusts of wind hare prompting a health caution notice from the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District.

The district stated Monday that smoke impacts from wildfires in northern California and in Tuolumne and Mariposa Counties will continue as winds bring smoke into the Valley.

“The health caution will remain in effect for San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced, Madera, Fresno, Kings, Tulare and Kern Counties until the fires are extinguished or until smoke is no longer affecting the Valley,” the districted stated.

The district has also issued an Air Quality Alert with the National Weather Service due to wildfire smoke impacts on Valley air quality. In addition, winds from the northwest may cause localized blowing dust Tuesday through Wednesday in San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced, and the western portion of the Valley including Madera, Fresno, Kings, and Kern Counties. The district warns residents being impacted by smoke or dust to stay indoors to reduce their exposure to particulate matter (PM) emissions.

Particulate matter can trigger asthma attacks, aggravate chronic bronchitis, and increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. Individuals with heart or lung disease should follow their doctors’ advice for dealing with episodes of PM exposure. Those with existing respiratory conditions, including COVID-19, young children and the elderly, are especially susceptible to the health effects from this form of pollution. Anyone experiencing poor air quality due to wildfire smoke should move to a filtered, air-conditioned environment with windows closed. Common cloth and paper masks being used as protection from COVID-19 may not be sufficient protection from wildfire smoke inhalation.

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