Valley Air District officials asking people to reduce time outdoors because of smoke from wildfires

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Wildfires burning throughout the state are sending smoke, ash, and soot into the air. (KFSN)

As wild fire season stays true to its name this summer-- thousands of firefighters are on the front lines of wildfires burning throughout the state. Those flames are sending smoke, ash, and soot into the air.

"People can smell it, they can see it, there are even reports of ash falling," said Cassandra Melching, Valley Air District.

Valley Air District officials are warning the dangers of particulate matter, in the air. They said it is so small it can get in your blood stream if inhaled.

"So it can cause heart attacks, strokes, it can aggravate asthma, it's just really bad all together," said Melching.

In terms of air quality index, because of the wild fires burning around us-- including the Garza Fire in Kings County that has grown to more than 14,000 thousand acres-- most of the San Joaquin Valley will be sitting at moderate to unhealthy for sensitive groups.

On days like this experts say it is best to spend at most 30 minutes outdoors and stick to the earlier hours of the day. But even at the earliest hours of day break you can see the smoky haze settling over the Valley.

"I haven't noticed any problems with my physical condition-- we can see it, we can smell it, and taste it," said Jim Shepard, Fresno.

Shepard starts his first walk of the day with his pups at 6:00 a.m. He said he may cut his time outdoors should this fire season get any worse. Add triple digit temperatures to the mix, you will want to shift any errands you need to run to the start of your morning as well.

"If you have to be outside, stay well hydrated-- your body will let you know if you're struggling," said Melching.
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