MDAQMD extends smoke advisory 'until further notice': CA wildfire impacts area air quality

As of Sept. 13, the Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District’s (MDAQMD) extended regional smoke advisory remains in effect “until further notice” due to the ongoing impact from historic statewide wildfires.

“The Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District (MDAQMD) is advising of the continued potential for poor air quality until further notice due to wildfire smoke impacts,” stated MDAQMD. “Much of Southern California has seen dark, smoky skies over the last few days as a result of massive wildfires burning across the state. MDAQMD regulated monitors and low-cost sensors placed throughout the region show varying levels of PM2.5, the pollutant found in wildfire smoke, and PM10.”

California Department of Forestry & Fire Protection’s Sept. 13 daily summary report noted over 16,750 firefighters continue to work on 29 major wildfires statewide.

“Since the beginning of the year, wildfires have burned over 3.3 million acres in California, which is larger than the State of Connecticut,” stated CalFire. “Since August 15, when California’s fire activity elevated, there have been 22 fatalities and over 4,100 structures destroyed.”

Blythe’s AQI (Air Quality Index) for Sept. 16-19 is forecast to range between moderate to good, with the main pollutant being fine PM2.5 (Particulate Matter 2.5) due to the wildfires.

“Increasing levels of smoke or ground-level ozone can affect everyone, but it’s particularly unhealthy for those with heart and respiratory illnesses, children, seniors and active adults. In any area impacted by poor air quality due to wildfire smoke: everyone should avoid any vigorous outdoor or indoor exertion; people with respiratory or heart disease, older adults, and children should remain indoors; keep windows and doors closed; run your air conditioner if you have one – recirculation function is ideal; avoid using a swamp cooler or whole-house fan to prevent bringing outdoor pollutants inside,” stated MDAQMD. “The U.S. EPA’s Smoke-Ready toolbox offers helpful tips to protect your health and that of those around you at https://www.epa.gov/pm-pollution/fires-and-your-health. MDAQMD encourages residents to check local air quality levels by visiting www.AirNow.gov or www.enviroflash.info where you can sign up for text and email alerts with Air Quality forecasts.”

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