Val­ley smokey skies are back — and will likely get worse

The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - Local - BY CRESENCIO RO­DRIGUEZ-DEL­GADO cdel­gado@fres­ Cresencio Ro­driguez-Del­gado: 559-441-6304, @cres_guez

Breathe what’s left of that good air this week­end — while you still can.

The Na­tional Weather Ser­vice in Han­ford pre­dicts air quality for the Fresno re­gion will worsen Sun­day, as north­ern winds will cause smoke to blan­ket the cen­tral San Joaquin Val­ley.

Me­te­o­rol­o­gist Andy Bol­len­bacher on Satur­day said 40 mph winds from the north will push smoke from the Camp Fire near Chico south into the Val­ley, de­creas­ing hu­mid­ity and air quality.

The low hu­mid­ity will in­crease fire haz­ards in the moun­tain ar­eas of Tu­lare and Kern coun­ties, which are al­ready un­der red-flag warn­ings. The con­di­tions are ex­pected to last into Mon­day.

The San Joaquin Val­ley Air Pol­lu­tion Con­trol District is­sued a health cau­tion Fri­day as smoke was sure to im­pact the health of the most sen­si­tive in­di­vid­u­als — which in­cludes the el­derly, chil­dren, and peo­ple with asthma.

The air district said the cau­tion would re­main in place at least un­til the rag­ing fires are ex­tin­guished. The district in­cluded a “No Burn­ing Un­less Reg­is­tered” ad­vi­sory along with their health cau­tion to cut down on smoke in sev­eral Val­ley coun­ties.

“Smoke from wild­fires pro­duces par­tic­u­late mat­ter which can trig­ger asthma at­tacks, ag­gra­vate chronic heat and lung dis­eases and in­crease the risk of heart at­tack and stroke,” the air district said in a Fri­day news re­lease. Any­one with health is­sues should speak with a doc­tor and stay in­doors when pos­si­ble.

The air district’s Real-time Air Ad­vi­sory Net­work held the ozone quality at Level 1 and OK for all groups Satur­day. The mi­cro­scopic par­ti­cles from the smoke were listed Level 3, which means sen­si­tive in­di­vid­u­als are rec­om­mended to con­duct ac­tiv­i­ties in­doors.

Bol­len­bacher said the blan­ket­ing smoke will also cause tem­per­a­tures in the Val­ley to shift. Night­time tem­per­a­tures will be “a lit­tle warmer,” he said. In the day­time, the smoky con­di­tions will block the sun and cause high tem­per­a­tures to drop slightly.

The stretch of dry weather will con­tinue at least for the next eight days, with lit­tle chance for rain to re­pair low hu­mid­ity lev­els that in­crease fire haz­ards in moun­tain ar­eas.

Nor­mally, November would see fre­quent show­ers ac­cord­ing to Bol­len­bacher. No fire ad­vi­sories are cur­rently in place for the moun­tain ar­eas of Fresno County.

Hun­dreds have fled the deadly fires in North­ern and South­ern Cal­i­for­nia, and the po­ten­tial for the fires to grow in­creases with the con­tin­u­ous dry weather and in­creased winds.


A don­key rests on a road­side as the Camp Fire burns in Big Bend, Calif., on Fri­day,

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