Smoke and ash from the growing Alisal Fire in Santa Barbara County prompted officials to upgrade an Air Quality Watch to an Air Quality Alert Wednesday, and advised residents to check local air quality due to changing conditions from the blaze.
Check real-time air quality on the APCD website at www.ourair.org/todays-air-quality and the EPA Fire & Smoke Map at fire.airnow.gov.
The Public Health Department and Air Pollution Control District said smoke and ash from the wildfire was impacting air quality and onshore winds were expected to push more smoke onshore.
On Monday and Tuesday, the winds in the fire area have mostly been offshore winds, pushing the plumes of smoke out to sea. The offshore flow can be clearly seen in satellite photos of the smoke and wildfire alert cameras stationed on Santa Ynez Peak.
Here is more information from APCD and Public Health.
When air quality reaches unhealthy levels, and/or if you see or smell smoke, we recommend that everyone:
» Head indoors and remain indoors, as much as possible
» Avoid strenuous outdoor activity
» Close all windows and doors that lead outside to prevent bringing additional smoke inside
» Avoid driving when possible and use “recycle” or re-circulate mode to avoid drawing smoky air into the car
» Drink plenty of fluids to keep respiratory membranes moist
» If you are an essential worker and must work outside during wildfire smoke conditions, the use of a properly fitted N-95 mask provides protection
When wildfire smoke is affecting your area, create a “clean air room” to keep indoor air quality safe. The best protection against wildfire smoke is to stay indoors as much as possible when smoke is present.
For information on different ways to create a “clean air room,” click here.
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, and nausea or unusual fatigue or lightheadedness.
— Noozhawk managing editor Giana Magnoli can be reached at email@example.com. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.