Air Quality Alert for Santa Barbara County

Air Quality Alert for Santa Barbara County title=
Air Quality Alert for Santa Barbara County
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Start of the Maria Fire on Thursday at the top of South Mountain, south of Santa Paula (Photo: Ventura County Fire Department)

Source: Air Pollution Control District

Santa Barbara County Public Health Department and Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District issued an Air Quality Alert through the weekend, or until conditions improve. The Maria Fire burning in Ventura County is producing smoke that may affect Santa Barbara County.

Levels of smoke and particles, and areas impacted, 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 (including asthma), 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.

Symptoms of smoke exposure include coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chest tightness or pain, nausea, and unusual fatigue or lightheadedness. When smoke is present, it is important for everyone to avoid outdoor activities – making indoor air quality that much more important. Here are some tips to keep your indoor air quality clean:

  • Keep windows and doors closed when smoke is present.
  • Create a “clean air room” in your home. Choose a shared space or a bedroom to run a HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) purifier. These purifiers are available online or at home improvement stores and start at approximately $75.
    • HEPA purifiers can reduce indoor particulate levels by up to 90 percent.
    • A less expensive, but similarly effective, option involves attaching a MERV-rated filter to a box fan, which costs $30-$40.
  • Use N-95 masks correctly. These masks can reduce smoke exposure outdoors by up to 95 percent but only if they fit properly.
    • Scarves, bandanas, and surgical masks are not effective and should not be used.
    • Masks must fit snugly around the nose and chin. For that reason, they are not suitable for children or people with facial hair. 
    • People with heart and lung conditions should talk to their doctor before using an N-95 mask, as the masks can restrict airflow. 
    • N-95 masks should not be used to extend time outdoors beyond what is necessary.

For current conditions and forecasts, visit

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a-1593956911 Nov 03, 2019 12:54 PM
Air Quality Alert for Santa Barbara County

The major cause of death during a heat wave is warm temperatures _at night_. The body does not get a chance to "rest" and cool down from being overheated all day. This prolonged stress on the body will often lead to death among the elderly.

a-1593956911 Nov 02, 2019 06:08 PM
Air Quality Alert for Santa Barbara County

This thread is surprising. SB has been SO LUCKY! I think our last terrible experience was Whittier Fire. But I'm not good at dates. I'm just reveling in our luck and pleasure at not having any wind or fire. Put your thanks where you like, but consider donating to N. CA. Or to Unity Shoppe, which spent all their resources after the Thomas Fire and debris flow.

a-1593956911 Nov 02, 2019 10:21 AM
Air Quality Alert for Santa Barbara County

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.

Factotum Nov 02, 2019 06:37 PM
Air Quality Alert for Santa Barbara County

Humans are not delicate. They have flaws which are mostly self-inflicted, but delicacy is not one of them. They are tough and built for survival.

a-1593956911 Nov 02, 2019 06:01 PM
Air Quality Alert for Santa Barbara County

Where are you getting this stuff?! WHO said everyone needs AC?! You simply remind me of "it's better to be thought a fool than speak and remove all doubt."

a-1593956911 Nov 02, 2019 08:54 AM
Air Quality Alert for Santa Barbara County

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.

a-1593956911 Nov 02, 2019 07:51 AM
Air Quality Alert for Santa Barbara County

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."

a-1593956911 Nov 02, 2019 06:03 PM
Air Quality Alert for Santa Barbara County

We had two sick elderly and then dying family members; two at the same time for almost 2 years. It's only in the worst months that AC is still used once or twice a week to prepare a bedroom for comfortable sleep. Then we run fans. You got solar? My electric bills are MINUS.

a-1593956911 Nov 02, 2019 05:57 PM
Air Quality Alert for Santa Barbara County

My family needed air conditioning due to the medical issues and plain old wear and tear of old age! Many elderly people do much better when their homes are not in the high 80's for days and nights. Now that they're gone the AC is used maybe 4-5 times a month for 15 minutes, as long as it takes to bring the temp down in one bedroom. It's also powered by solar, most of which goes into the grid. Thank you for your time in reading this explanation.

a-1593956911 Nov 01, 2019 11:51 AM
Air Quality Alert for Santa Barbara County

Food for thought, with facts, arguments and linked information: -------------------------------------------------------------

paul-e Nov 01, 2019 10:54 AM
Air Quality Alert for Santa Barbara County

Ourair and were showing the air quality as good in Goleta - you can see ash and smoke and smell fire. That just can't be right.

EastBeach Nov 03, 2019 08:54 AM
Air Quality Alert for Santa Barbara County

The PurpleAir sensors were determined to have low accuracy based on testing by the South Coast AQMD. And please note in the report that accuracy and precision have different meanings. Precision refers to the repeatability of a measurements so isn't the same as accuracy ....

a-1593956911 Nov 01, 2019 12:16 PM
Air Quality Alert for Santa Barbara County

Paul-E - Agreed. The air quality checks as "good" but I'm in Winchester canyon and the smoke is so bad you can see it and it smells inside the house. Definitely not "good" here.

a-1593956911 Nov 01, 2019 11:21 AM
Air Quality Alert for Santa Barbara County

I prefer purpleair, it shows all the individual sensors.

a-1593956911 Nov 01, 2019 10:36 AM
Air Quality Alert for Santa Barbara County

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.

Chip of SB Nov 01, 2019 02:07 PM
Air Quality Alert for Santa Barbara County

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....

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