MARIPOSA COUNTY (CBS13) — The Ferguson Fire, which is burning 4,000 acres in Mariposa County, is causing health concerns around northern and central San Joaquin Valley.
As the fire continues to burn, the smoke is affecting the air quality, and local air pollution officials to issue a health cautionary statement for Stanislaus, Merced, Madera, Fresno, and Tulare Counties.
Officials warned that the smoke impacts will continue until the fire is extinguished. As of Sunday morning, the fire was only 2 percent contained.
In a news release, the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District warned that smoke can cause serious health problems including lung disease, asthma attacks and increased risk of heart attacks and stroke.
It is advised that people with heart or lung disease follow their doctor’s advice for dealing with episodes of particulate exposure.
In addition, people with existing respiratory conditions, young children, and elderly people are especially susceptible to health effect from the pollutants. The Air district officials recommend that those exposed to poor air quality or wildfire smoke move inside to an air-conditioned environment.
While the Air District detects fine particles in the air which exist in smoke, their monitors cannot detect ash particles due to their larger size. Therefore, an area may be experiencing ash impacts from potential fires while the PM monitor reflects a moderate reading. If you can smell smoke or see ash that is an indication that you should be treating air quality conditions as “Unhealthy” (RAAN Level 4 or higher) and remain indoors.
Residents can check the District’s wildfire page at www.valleyair.org/wildfires for information about any current wildfires and whether they are impacting the Valley. The District’s Real-time Air Advisory Network (RAAN) provides localized air quality data from an extensive air-monitoring network which allows Valley residents to track PM at any Valley address by visiting myraan.com. Residents can also follow air quality conditions by downloading the free “Valley Air” app, available in the Apple store or Google Play.
For more information, visit www.valleyair.org or call a District office in Fresno (559-230-6000), Modesto (209-557-6400) or Bakersfield (661-392-5500).