Wildfire season has begun in Valley

Success Fire among others cause air pollution district to warn about air quality, call to the beginning of fire season

PORTERVILLE – Last week’s surprising thunder storm led to an 800-acre blaze that took all weekend to suppress.

According to CalFire lightening along Success Valley Road and Reservation Road, east of Porterville sparked the Success Fire on June 18. As of Monday, June 21 the fire was 95% contained, required 30 engines or truck companies, two water tenders, two bulldozers, eight fire crews and 286 total personnel.

The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District stated in a press release over the weekend that “it’s official: wildfire season has begun for the valley.” Not welcoming news for it being only June.

The district noted in their release that the Willow Fire in Monterey County, the Crane Fire in Kern County, and multiple fires in the foothills and mountains of Tulare County have marked the beginning of wildfire season in the San Joaquin Valley. They added that as a result of hot and dry conditions, more fires may start or existing fire might expand.

“A build-up of dry vegetation during the hot summer months presents a high risk for hotter, faster moving fires in mountain communities surrounding the Valley, often sending smoke into the San Joaquin Valley. Wildfire smoke contains particulate matter (PM), which can trigger asthma attacks, aggravate chronic bronchitis, and increase the risk of heart attack and stroke,” the press release stated.

Those in particular danger are the vulnerable groups are those with existing respiratory conditions, including COVID-19, young children and the elderly, are especially susceptible to the negative health effects from this form of pollution. The all too familiar remedy includes avoiding the outdoors when air quality is poor, and seeking medical help when necessary.

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