By Rachel Wulff

FOLSOM (CBS13) — With wildfire season looming, air quality will once again be a big concern, and one new facility in Folsom is monitoring that for the public.

There was a ribbon-cutting ceremony outside the recently renovated air quality monitoring station behind Folsom City Hall.

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“The station includes a lot of monitoring equipment in the building and we have the instrumentation up on top that gives us the mission-critical information for our air quality forecast for the region,” said Mark Loutzenhiser, who oversees the facility.

The information gathered is key, especially during wildfire season when people can’t bear what’s up there.

The facility is one of seven stations operated by the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District. Loutzenhiser showed us the different sensors on top of the building that pull in large volumes of air.

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“It’s everything from ozone reads that we are concerned about during the summer, fine dust or particulate matter during winter and wildfires, and we also have a lot of meteorological information [like] wind speed,” he said.

He said an air quality technician maintains the equipment, recalibrating it throughout the day. Information is collected and sent to several places including the Environmental Protection Agency and Spare The Air to keep an eye out for when particulates get too high.

“We can’t control the wildfires ourselves, but having the information available for the public can help the public make informed decisions,” Loutzenhiser said. “Do I head out right now? Can kids go out? Can I go for a walk?”

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There are additional air monitoring facilities in neighboring counties.