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Smoke Affecting Air Quality As Temps Head For Triple Digits

CENTRAL CALIFORNIA — Smoke from the Detwiler Fire in Mariposa County is expected to affect air quality in the central and southern San Joaquin Valley and the foothills throughout the weekend.

High pressure will be building over the region this weekend with lighter winds and deteriorating dispersion conditions, and temperatures are forecast to reach about 106 degrees by Sunday

Under these weather conditions, smoke from the Detwiler Fire may be affecting foothill/ mountains and across the Valley Air Basin. The existing 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 at 559-230-6000, Modesto at 209-557-6400 or Bakersfield at 661-392-5500.

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Sierra News Online

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