Smoke from wildfires in the southern Sierra has prompted an air quality alert that remains in effect until Tuesday, September 5 at 11 a.m. Tuolumne, Mariposa and San Joaquin Valley air pollution control districts issued the alert Monday.
Affected counties include Mariposa, Tuolumne, Mariposa, Merced, Madera, Fresno, Kings, Tulare, and Kern.
In the Sacramento area, ozone levels in the air have made it unhealthy for sensitive groups. A smoke advisory was also extended through Tuesday.
Experts say exposure to particle pollution can cause serious health problems, aggravate lung disease, cause asthma attacks and acute bronchitis, and increase risk of respiratory infections, according to a statement from air quality officials.
Residents are advised to use caution. People with heart or lung diseases are encouraged to follow their doctors’ advice for dealing with episodes of unhealthy air quality.
If you smell or see smoke, you are urged by officials to take the following actions:
• Everyone should minimize outdoor activities if you can see or smell smoke, even if you’re healthy
• Children, the elderly and people with respiratory or heart conditions should be particularly careful to avoid exposure
• Stay indoors with doors and windows closed as much as possible
• Asthmatics should follow their asthma management plan
• Contact your doctor if you have symptoms of a cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms you believe to be caused by smoke
• Those with heart disease should especially limit their smoke exposure since PM can cause heart attacks
Also, older adults and children should avoid prolonged exposure, strenuous activities or heavy exertion, as conditions dictate.
You can check current air conditions for the Sacramento region at www.SpareTheAir.com/wildfire.cfm.