Air Quality Warning for Santa Barbara County Re-Issued for Weekend
Source: Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District
The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department and the Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District re-issued the Air Quality Warning for the county for the weekend. Containment grows for the Alamo and Whittier fires, but forecasted windy conditions could create smoke and ash impacts for various parts of the county, especially in regard to potential impacts from the Whittier Fire.
If smoke and ash are present where you live, be cautious and use common sense to protect your and your family’s health. If you smell smoke or see ash fall, county officials recommend that you take precautions to reduce the harmful health effects associated with smoke exposure. Everyone, especially people with heart or lung disease (including asthma), older adults, and children, should limit time spent outdoors and avoid outdoor exercise when high concentrations of smoke and particles are in the air.
If you have symptoms that may be related to smoke exposure, contact your doctor. Symptoms can include repeated coughing, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, wheezing, chest tightness or pain, palpitations, and nausea or unusual fatigue or lightheadedness.
When wood smoke is impacting your neighborhood, consider purchasing an air-filtering device, which can help remove ash, soot, and dust.
• Select a device with a High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter.
• Keep the device in one room that could serve as a “clean air room” — the packaging on most devices notes the suitable room size.
If you are sensitive to air pollution, and air quality is poor in your area to the extent that you are unable to keep indoor air clean, consider relocating to an area where the air is cleaner.
Even as conditions improve, winds can still stir up ash. Over time, those particles can be broken into smaller particles and blown into the air. Residents are urged to avoid using leaf blowers or doing any activities that will stir ash and particles into the air. Instead, sweep ash gently with a broom, and take cars to a car wash. You should avoid skin contact with ash, and no one with heart or lung conditions should handle ash cleanup.
To check air quality levels throughout the county, and to view smoke forecasts, visit www.OurAir.org/todays-air-