Air Quality Warning Downgraded to Air Quality Watch

Air Quality Warning Downgraded to Air Quality Watch title=
Air Quality Warning Downgraded to Air Quality Watch
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(Photo by Lukas)

Update by the Public Health Department
December 22, 2017

The volume of ash deposited as a result of the Thomas Fire is unprecedented, and future wind events may stir up ash and affect air quality. The District and Public Health have been working together with regional, state, and national agencies to provide resources for ash clean-up.Leaf blowers should not be used while there are large amounts of ash in our environment. Using leaf blowers stirs up the particles and can contribute to larger particles becoming smaller, more harmful particles. Using leaf blowers during this time could result in a violation of District regulations. See for more information.The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department and Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District have downgraded the Air Quality Warning to an Air Quality Watch. Air quality has improved significantly over the past several days, although areas could still be affected by winds stirring up ash. The Air Quality Watch will remain in effect through the weekend and Monday holiday.

Before cleaning up ash, check hourly air quality conditions at Ash clean-up should never be done by people who have lung or heart conditions.

See best practices for cleaning up ash when air quality conditions allow, including information on street sweeping: &

By the Edhat Staff
December 21, 2017

Air quality has significantly improved in Santa Barbara County as of Thursday, December 21.

The majority of the county is registering as "good" air quality while south Santa Barbara County is registered as "moderate"

(Click on the map for a larger image)

A green "Good" rating indicates air quality is considered satisfactory and air pollution poses little to no threat.

A yellow "Moderate" rating indicates air quality is acceptable, however, for some pollutants, there may be a moderate health concern for a very small number of people who are unusually sensitive to air pollution.

It's being advised that residents continue to wear their masks and avoid activities that can stir up ash. As mentioned previously numerous times, do not use leaf blowers.

Especially with winds whipping around in recent days, it's best to keep your mask on to avoid inhaling dangerous particles. An edhat reader captured a video of the windy ash on Wednesday in downtown Santa Barbara. See the full video below:

More information can be found at and a comprehensive air quality analysis can be found at

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