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Smoke from wildfires prompts health caution

12 October 2017

During the summer months when ground-level ozone, or "smog", becomes a pollution problem, the Air District issues Spare the Air Alerts for days on which air quality is forecast to be unhealthy.

Several wildfires erupted Sunday night in Northern California, the worst in Santa Rosa. Residents can also check the nearest air monitor to their location to determine localized air-quality conditions. But people in the East Bay and South Bay are not in the clear because the toxic air is creeping all over the region. "Air quality may improve at times or get worse, very quickly", the district said in a statement. Those with heart and lung diseases should follow doctor's advice. Older adults, pregnant women, children and those with preexisting heart and lung conditions are particularly vulnerable.

Residents of smoke-impacted areas who are forced to stay are being recommended to use an N95 mask to minimize breathing in fine particles in the smoke.

Smoke from the Northern California wildfires is affecting air quality throughout the entire San Joaquin Valley, prompting local air pollution officials to issue an Air Quality Alert. Anyone exposed to poor air quality or wildfire smoke should move inside to an air-conditioned environment. Fresno Unified has also canceled all outdoor activities.

Residents can check the air district's wildfire page at www.valleyair.org/wildfires for information about any current wildfires and whether they are impacting the Valley.

Flights into San Francisco International were being delayed by 2 ½ hours Wednesday afternoon by visibility issues presented by the smoky skies.

Smoke from wildfires prompts health caution