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Air District encourages residents to prepare for wildfire season.

Are You Wildfire Ready?

MOUNTAIN COMMUNITIES–The 2023 Wildfire season is just around the corner, and the time to prepare for wildfires is now. The Valley Air District encourages residents to be prepared and plan for potential poor air quality due to wildfire smoke that might reach the Valley as we head into the hotter, drier time of the year. Predicting the severity of the fire season is always challenging, particularly with ever-changing conditions and weather patterns.

The District reminds residents to change out air filters in their homes and set up a Clean Air Room for when smoke impacts become severe. A Clean Air Room is a room in your home or apartment where you and your family can escape the worst of the smoke impacts from wildfires.

Follow these easy steps to create a Clean Air Room:

  • Choose a room where your entire family can relax and spend the majority of their time.
  • Prevent smoke from entering the room by tightly closing doors and windows.
  • Stay cool. Run fans, window air conditioners, or central air conditioning.
  • Filter the air in the room with a store-bought air purifier or create a DIY air purifier.
  • Avoid creating smoke or other particles indoors (no candles, no open-flame cooking, no smoking).
  • Spend as much time as possible in the clean air room to get the most benefits.
  • Remember, cloths mask don’t work for wildfire smoke; choose N95 masks instead.

Hot and dry conditions throughout the San Joaquin Valley can create the potential for wildfires and lead to smoke impacts in our region. Due to historic rain and snow this past winter, there is the risk of an increased build-up of undergrowth and the potential for significant dry vegetation during the summer months. This will present a higher 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. Those with existing respiratory conditions are especially susceptible to the adverse health effects of this form of pollution. Anyone experiencing poor air quality due to wildfire smoke should move indoors to a filtered, air-conditioned environment with windows closed and contact their primary care provider for more information.

The public can check the District’s wildfire page at www.valleyair.org/wildfires for information about any wildfires affecting the Valley. In addition, anyone can follow air quality conditions by downloading the free “Valley Air” app on their mobile device. Those residents in foothills or mountain communities should also listen to emergency alerts and be prepared to evacuate if needed.

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). District Outreach and Communications personnel are also available for media interviews.


The Valley Air District covers eight counties, including San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced, Madera, Fresno, Kings, Tulare, and San Joaquin Valley air basin portions of Kern. For additional information about the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, visit www.valleyair.org or call 559-230-6000.

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Sierra News Online