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Smoke From 12 Large Wildfires Causing Health Concerns

CENTRAL CALIFORNIA — Smoke from the Whittier (Santa Barbara County), Alamo (San Luis Obispo County), and Garza (Kings County) fires is affecting air quality in all locations throughout the San Joaquin Valley, from San Joaquin County to the Valley portion of Kern County.

Smoke from the Schaeffer Fire located in Tulare County is affecting air quality in the foothill and mountain areas of Tulare and Kern County, especially the communities of Kennedy Meadows and Johnsondale.

The strong high pressure system parked over the Valley is causing smoke emissions to remain trapped within the air basin and spikes in particulate matter levels and ozone levels are possible. The health caution will remain in place and smoke impacts will continue until the fires are extinguished.

Smoke from fires produces particulate matter (PM2.5), which can cause serious health problems including lung disease, asthma attacks and increased risk of heart attacks and stroke. People with existing respiratory conditions, young children and elderly people are especially susceptible to health effects from these pollutants. Air District officials urge residents to follow their doctors’ orders when exposed to PM 2.5 and stay indoors if at all possible.

Please be advised that the District’s Real-time Air Advisory Network (RAAN) monitors are designed to detect the fine particulates (called PM2.5 which are microscopic in size and not visible to the human eye) that exist in smoke. Ash particles are much larger in size and will not be detected by our monitors. Therefore an area may be experiencing ash impacts from potential fires while the PM monitor reflects a moderate reading.

If you can smell smoke or see ash that is an indication that you should be treating air quality conditions as “Unhealthy” (RAAN Level 4 or higher) and remain indoors.

Residents can check the District’s wildfire page at www.valleyair.org/wildfires for information about any current wildfires and whether they are impacting the Valley. Residents can check the nearest RAAN monitor to their location to determine localized air-quality conditions at www.valleyair.org/RAAN.

For more information, visit www.valleyair.org or call a District office in Fresno (559-230-6000), Modesto (209-557-6400) or Bakersfield (661-392-5500)

As fire season heats up, residents are reminded to be prepared before wildfire strikes. Prepare yourself and your home for the possibility of having to evacuate. Create an evacuation plan that includes a designated emergency meeting location outside the fire or hazard area with several different escape routes from your home and community, and don’t forget to make a plan for your pets.

Lastly, designate an out-of-area friend or relative as a point of contact to act as a single source of communication among family members in case of separation. Visit: http://www.readyforwildfire.org

Fires of Interest:

**CAL FIRE Incidents**

Wall Fire, Butte County

Chinese Wall Rd, 5 miles north of Bangor

· 6,033 acres, 96% contained

Garza Fire, Kings County

8.5 miles east of Parkfield near the Monterey, Kings County Line

· 48,403 acres, 64% contained

Quail, Vegetation Fire, Calaveras County

Oak Hill Dr. & Quail Oaks Rd. Community of Valley Springs

∙ 59 acres grass and brush, 100% contained

**Unified Command**

Whittier Fire, Santa Barbara County

Lake Cachuma area, south of Hwy 154

· 17,364 acres, 35% contained

Alamo Fire, San Luis Obispo County

Highway 166 at Alamo Creek Road, east of Santa Maria

· 28,687 acres, 93% contained

Bridge, Vegetation Fire, San Bernardino County

Greenspot Rd x Santa Ana Canyon Rd, City of Highland

· 450 acres grass and brush, 20% contained

**Federal Incidents**

Island Fire, Siskiyou County

14 miles west of Etna in the Marble Mountain Wilderness

· 1,069 acres

Schaeffer Fire, Tulare County

17 miles north of Kernville

· 16,002 acres, 61% contained

Mart Fire, San Bernardino County

Highland Ave at Highway 330

· 670 acres, 95% contained

Farad Fire, Sierra County

CA/NV Stateline, 12 miles NE of Truckee

· 747 acres, 81% contained

Long Valley Fire, Lassen County

Hwy 395 x Cowboy Joe Rd, 3 miles north of Doyle

· 37,025 acres, 20% contained

Hidden Fire, San Bernardino County

Hwy 330, 1 mile north of Highland

Federal DPA, FRA, San Bernardino National Forest

∙ 46 acres grass and brush, 95% contained

Silver Fire, San Bernardino County

Silverwood Lake Area

· 17 acres, 100% contained

Dobe Fire, Modoc County

Silverwood Lake Area

· 410 acres, 70% contained

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