Val­ley Air Qual­ity Im­pacted By Wild­fires

Riverbank News - - NEWS -

Smoke from the Fer­gu­son Fire in Mari­posa County and other fires are af­fect­ing air qual­ity in lo­ca­tions through­out the en­tire San Joaquin Val­ley with es­pe­cially se­vere con­di­tions in the foothill and moun­tain com­mu­ni­ties. Lo­cal air pol­lu­tion of­fi­cials want to re­mind Val­ley res­i­dents that a health cau­tion is in place and smoke im­pacts will con­tinue un­til the fires are ex­tin­guished.

Wild­fire smoke is a mix­ture of gases and fine, mi­cro­scopic par­ti­cles that can cause health prob­lems in­clud­ing trig­ger­ing asthma at­tacks, ag­gra­vat­ing chronic heart and lung dis­eases, and in­creas­ing the risk of heart at­tack and stroke. Where con­di­tions war­rant, peo­ple with heart or lung disease should fol­low their doc­tors’ ad­vice for deal­ing with episodes of par­tic­u­late ex­po­sure. Peo­ple with ex­ist­ing res­pi­ra­tory con­di­tions, young chil­dren and el­derly peo­ple are es­pe­cially sus­cep­ti­ble to the health ef­fects from these pol­lu­tants. Any­one be­ing ex­posed to poor air qual­ity or wild­fire smoke should move in­side to an air-con­di­tioned en­vi­ron­ment.

Res­i­dents can use the San Joaquin Val­ley Air Pol­lu­tion Con­trol Dis­trict’s Real­time Air Ad­vi­sory Net­work (RAAN) to track air qual- ity at any Val­ley ad­dress by vis­it­ing myraan.com. The RAAN mon­i­tors are de­signed to de­tect the mi­cro­scopic PM2.5 par­ti­cles that ex­ist in smoke. Ash pieces, how­ever, are much larger in size and will not be de­tected. If an area is cov­ered in ash, air qual­ity should be con­sid­ered “un­healthy” (RAAN Level 4 or higher) even if the mon­i­tor re­flects a lower read­ing.

The pub­lic 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. In ad­di­tion, any­one can fol­low air qual­ity con­di­tions by down­load­ing the free “Val­ley Air” app, avail­able in the Ap­ple store or Google Play.

For more in­for­ma­tion, visit www.val­leyair.org or call the Dis­trict of­fice in Modesto at 209-557-6400.

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