Monday, July 16 , 2018, 9:32 am | Fair 69º


Local News

Air Quality Warning in Effect Through Weekend for Santa Barbara County

Ash may become locally airborne on Saturday in areas of stronger winds; be prepared and keep your N-95 particulate masks handy

Air quality conditions are expected to be highly variable this weekend, especially in southern Santa Barbara County.

Monitoring stations continue to record unhealthy air, with levels of invisible fine particles (PM 2.5) still high.

While winds may improve air quality in some areas, they can also stir up ash over the weekend. Areas affected will vary.

The Air Quality Warning will remain in effect until conditions improve.

The levels of poor air quality and the extensive time with unhealthy air due to this wildfire, as well as the volume of ash that has been deposited, are unprecedented.

The Air Pollution Control District and Public Health are working in partnership with regional, state, and national agencies, and have developed some resources for ash clean-up.

People should avoid ash clean-up in areas where air quality conditions remain unhealthy.

See best practices for cleaning up ash when air quality conditions allow, including information on street sweeping. 

Click here to see Thomas Fire cleanup and health resources. 

See Health Notice for Local Landscapers regarding not using leaf blowers here.

The Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District has set up temporary air monitoring stations to record levels of fine particles (PM 2.5) in Carpinteria, Santa Ynez, and Los Alamos.

See for current conditions in these locations and throughout the county. Daily smoke forecasts — in English and Spanish, and also shown in map form — are also posted.

If you have symptoms that may be related to exposure to smoke and soot, contact your doctor.

Symptoms include repeated coughing, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, wheezing, chest tightness or pain, palpitations, headaches, and nausea or unusual fatigue or lightheadedness.

See for tips on how to protect yourself from wildfire smoke.


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