When will the smoky skies over Central California go away?

The heavy, smoky skies are predicted to remain over Fresno and the rest of Central California at least through Saturday, according to the Experimental High-Resolution Rapid Refresh computer model that the U.S. National Weather Service in Hanford is tracking. Larry Valenzuela The Fresno Bee Forget about getting a breath of […]

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The heavy, smoky skies are predicted to remain over Fresno and the rest of Central California at least through Saturday, according to the Experimental High-Resolution Rapid Refresh computer model that the U.S. National Weather Service in Hanford is tracking.

The Fresno Bee

Forget about getting a breath of fresh air anytime soon.

The heavy, smoky skies are predicted to remain over Fresno and the rest of Central California at least through Saturday, according to the Experimental High-Resolution Rapid Refresh computer model that the U.S. National Weather Service in Hanford is tracking.

And that means the air quality will remain at unhealthy levels throughout the central San Joaquin Valley, so people are advised to remain indoors as much as possible.

As of Saturday morning, the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District’s Real-time Air Advisory Network shows the level of particulate matter (known as PM2.5) at twice the threshold to be considered Level 5, when everyone should avoid outdoor activity.

“Anyone experiencing poor air quality due to wildfire smoke should move indoors, to a filtered, air-conditioned environment with windows closed,” the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District wrote in a news release. “The common cloth and paper masks individuals are wearing due to COVID-19 concerns may not protect them from wildfire smoke.”

Currently, these fires are burning:

  • The SCU Lightning Complex Fire in multiple northern counties, including Stanislaus and San Joaquin Counties
  • The Hills Fire in Fresno County, west of Avenal near Highway 33
  • The CZU August Lightning Complex Fir, located in various locations across San Mateo and Santa Cruz Counties.
  • The Lake Fire in Los Angeles County southeast of Lebec, which is producing smoke that is infiltrating into the San Joaquin Valley which includes San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced, Madera, Fresno, Kings,Tulare Counties, and the valley portion of Kern county.
  • And as of Friday afternoon, the Castle Fire, which is burning 90 miles southeast of Visalia.

The District reissued a health caution until the fires are extinguished.

“Air pollution officials caution Valley residents to reduce exposure to the particulate matter (PM) emissions by remaining indoors in affected areas,” the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District wrote. “Particulate matter pollution 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.”

Bryant-Jon Anteola is a multimedia reporter for The Fresno Bee, writing stories and producing videos about sports, news and random topics relatable to those in the Fresno area. He’s won a McClatchy President’s Award and received honorable mention by the Associated Press Sports Editors. He enjoys sports because of the competition, camaraderie and energy, and views sports as a microcosm of society.

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