The Windy Fire and KNP Complex Fire in Tulare County continue to cause smoke impacts across the San Joaquin Valley. The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District has issued an Air Quality Alert for San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced, Madera, Fresno, Tulare, Kings, and the Valley portion of Kern counties, due to the smoke impacts from the ongoing wildfires occurring throughout California.
The District on Tuesday morning, Sept. 21 issued an Air Quality Alert with the National Weather Service, to remain in place while smoke impacts continue, at least until Monday, Sept. 27 at 11 a.m. The District warns residents being impacted by smoke to remain indoors to reduce their exposure to particulate matter (PM) emissions.
Particulate matter can trigger asthma attacks, aggravate chronic bronchitis, and increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. Individuals with heart or lung disease should follow their doctors’ advice for dealing with episodes of PM exposure. Those with existing respiratory conditions, including COVID-19, young children and the elderly, are especially susceptible to the health effects from this form of pollution. Anyone experiencing poor air quality due to wildfire smoke should move to a filtered, air-conditioned environment with windows closed. Common cloth and paper masks being used as protection from COVID-19 may not be sufficient protection from wildfire smoke inhalation.
Residents are advised to use caution as conditions warrant. Additionally, older adults and children should avoid prolonged exposure, strenuous activities or heavy exertion, as conditions dictate.
For additional information, visit www.valleyair.org or call your local San Joaquin Valley Air District office; the Modesto office can be reached at 209-557-6400. Residents can also follow air quality conditions by downloading the free Valley Air app, available in the Apple store or Google Play.
For details on current and past wildfires affecting the Valley, as well as resources to protect yourself from exposure to wildfires smoke, visit the District’s Wildfire Information page at www.valleyair.org/wildfires. In addition, you can access RAAN to check air quality at any Valley location at myRAAN.com, view the EPA AirNow Fire and Smoke map (https://fire.airnow.gov/) and find links to temporary foothill monitors.