Air Quality Alert for Santa Barbara County


The Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District (APCD) and Santa Barbara County Public Health Department issued an Air Quality Alert for Santa Barbara County to be in effect until conditions improve.

Northern Santa Barbara County is currently experiencing smoke impacts and meteorology indicates that the rest of Santa Barbara County will also experience smoke impacts in the coming days.

These smoke impacts are from wildfires burning in Northern California and Oregon; the smoke from those fires is affecting much of California. This is a dynamic situation, and local air quality conditions can deteriorate quickly. Stay alert to local conditions by visiting or

Levels of smoke and particles, and areas affected, will vary. If you see or smell smoke in the air, be cautious and use common sense to protect your and your family’s health. Everyone, especially people with heart or lung conditions, older adults, pregnant women, and children, should limit time spent outdoors and avoid outdoor exercise when high concentrations of smoke and particles are in the air.

When air quality reaches unhealthy levels, and/or if you see or smell smoke, we recommend that everyone:

  • Head indoors and remain indoors, as much as possible;
  • Avoid strenuous outdoor activity;
  • Close all windows and doors that lead outside to prevent bringing additional smoke inside;
  • Avoid driving when possible and use “recycle” or re-circulate mode to avoid drawing smoky air into the car;
  • Drink plenty of fluids to keep respiratory membranes moist; and,
  • If you must work outside during wildfire conditions, the use of a properly fitted N-95 mask provides protection.

When wildfire smoke is affecting your area, create a “clean air room” to keep indoor air quality safe. The best protection against wildfire smoke is to stay indoors as much as possible when smoke is present. For videos and infographics about creating a “clean air room,” click here.

Organized Outdoor Activities

Schools and programs that serve or organize activities outdoors should use the Fire and Smoke map or APCD website ( to identify air quality conditions based on the Air Quality Index color for their area and take the following actions:

If you have symptoms that may be related to exposure to smoke and soot, contact your health care provider. Symptoms include repeated coughing, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, wheezing, chest tightness or pain, palpitations, and nausea or unusual fatigue or lightheadedness.

Sign up to receive bilingual Air Quality Alerts (via text and/or email) from APCD and Public Health:


Written by APCD

The Air Pollution Control District. Air quality alerts, news, and information for Santa Barbara County, CA. Learn more at

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  1. How do you propose we change the climate? When the Mayans were faced with a prolonged drought, they came to a scientific consensus that making human sacrifices would cause the rains to return. What do you propose we offer the climate gods? Human sacrifice isn’t politically correct today. Instead, if we crush the young and the poor economically by making everything more expensive it might rain more and get colder. Perhaps if we make home ownership more prohibitively expensive the sea level will fall too. I think those Mayans were on to something, perhaps we can follow in their footsteps with a 21st century style economic sacrifice….

  2. Upper East. I stepped out my door at 9:30 a.m. got one whiff of the air and said to myself, “Wildfire?” UGH. Smoke getting heavier and heavier here now. I caution everyone to take the “be safe” warning seriously. Avoid breathing in this smoke. Not just bad for lungs, also bad for your heart.

  3. During smoke pollution events, if you have asthma, heart or lung disease, and you need air purifiers and air conditioning, check with Edison today. “Powered Medical Equipment” listed here can include air conditioning. Compromised immune systems include adults and children with autoimmune illnesses, and under a doctor’s care.
    Go to, select link: Public Safety Power Shutoff, that will provide the links to Edison for these valuable resources for families caring for people will medical needs: Southern California Edison has a Medical Baseline program that is designed for families that have at least one person in the household who requires powered medical equipment. SCE provides financial assistance for their power needs to families who qualify for the program, but SCE also gives participants special consideration when a PSPS is a possibility. To Register for the Medical Baseline program, please visit
    “To be eligible, you or someone who lives with you full-time must require use of a medical device.
    The program also accepts paraplegics, hemiplegics, quadriplegics, multiple sclerosis or scleroderma patients, individuals who require air conditioning, and people with life-threatening illnesses or compromised immune systems.
    If you or someone in your home qualifies, call us at 1-800-447-6620 – while you complete the application process, we’ll note on your account that there is a resident at your address who uses a qualifying medical device.”

  4. Not good air right now. Hope Ranch sensor: On November 2nd, 2019, 8:51:26 AM PDT.
    10 Minute Average US EPA PM2.5 AQI is now 107. 101-150: Members of sensitive groups may experience health effects if they are exposed for 24 hours.

  5. 9:33 to answer your question about why need ac. Heat intolerance causes the body to not be able to cool itself enough, causing the body temp to rise, and can lead to death. Bodies regulate temp by maintaining a DELICATE balance between hot and cold, and inability has a variety of causes. (1) Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system. The central nervous system is made up of the brain and spinal cord. This disease affects the protective covering, or myelin, of the nerves of your central nervous system. If your myelin is damaged (MS) your body’s signals become interrupted, leading to heat intolerance. Hyperthyroidism and Grave’s Disease have similar problems. Not well known is that medications is a common cause — Allergy, blood pressure, and decongestant medications can inhibit your body’s ability to cool itself by preventing sweating.

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