Smoke From Alisal Fire Affecting Air Quality in Southland

Alisal Fire Near Santa Barbara Forces Evacuations

Photo: Getty Images

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - The South Coast Air Quality Management District has issued a special air quality advisory through this afternoon due to heavy smoke drifting into parts of Los Angeles, Orange and Riverside counties from the Alisal Fire near Santa Barbara.

Impacts on surface air quality are expected in the South Coast Air Basin, with elevated Air Quality Index (AQI) levels expected in the entire basin through Thursday afternoon, the SCAQMD said.

As of Wednesday morning, good and moderate air quality index levels were being measured throughout the area, but elevated levels were expected in the coastal regions starting Wednesday afternoon, with smoke moving farther inland.

In areas affected, the AQI may reach Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups levels or higher from midday Wednesday through at least Thursday afternoon, the SCAQMD said.

Officials recommended that, to help keep indoor air clean during periods of poor air quality, people should close all windows and doors and run air conditioners and/or air purifiers.

The SCAQMD also recommended that people not use whole house fans or swamp coolers that bring in outside air; avoid burning wood in fireplaces or fire pits; minimize sources of indoor air pollution such as candles, incense, pan-frying, and grilling; and limit the use of gasoline-powered lawn and garden equipment.

Breathing in fine particulate matter can lead to a wide variety of heart and lung health effects such as heart attacks, asthma aggravation, decreased lung function, coughing, or difficulty breathing and may lead to premature death in people with heart or lung disease.

Also Wednesday, the National Weather Service issued a red flag warning for critical fire danger for much of the Southland from Friday morning through Saturday evening.

With gusty Santa Ana winds combining with low relative humidity, the warning will be in effect from 6 a.m. Friday to 8 p.m. Saturday, and will apply to the L.A County coast, downtown L.A., the Los Angeles County Mountains, the Angeles National Forest and the San Fernando and Santa Clarita valleys.

Copyright 2021, City News Service, Inc.

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