Heat and wildfires making poor Valley air quality even worse

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The Detwiler Fire in Mariposa County is the latest wildfire to spew smoke and ash into the air, and many people around the Valley woke up to find ash covering their cars. (KFSN)

The Valley is already home to some of the worst air quality in the country, but the blue skies have been replaced by smoke and haze due to two wildfires burning in the area.

The Detwiler Fire in Mariposa County is the latest wildfire to spew smoke and ash into the air. Many people around the Valley woke up to find ash covering their cars.

"If you see it or smell it, you're being impacted," Cassandra Melching with the San Joaquin Air Pollution Control District said.

Valley air quality is taking a big hit with all the smoke in the air. Joe Rincon brought his three kids to Woodward Park to have some fun in the shade before it got too hot and smoggy.

"Yeah, it's coming around," he said. "You could definitely feel it. Yesterday, it was big. You could see it especially. The clouds were something else so you want to get in and get the kids out, get some exercise and then head in."

And the Garza Fire continues to burn near Avenal. The impact of two big wildfires is being felt around the entire Valley.

"If you go outside and you look outdoors, you'll notice all the smoke is back aloft, and we're getting ash that's falling in Madera County, Fresno County, Tulare County and even Kern County," Melching said.

Melching says the ash particles are so big they're not being picked up by PM 2.5 monitors. She recommends people try to stay indoors especially those with respiratory issues.

"It's warm right now and the air's been a little bad," Melissa Sample of Fresno said. "A few days ago, I think it was worse."

Sample and her daughter Megan spent the morning feeding the geese at Woodward Park, but the bad air cut their visit short.

"Yeah, you can feel it when you're having a hard time breathing," she said. "She has a harder time breathing when it gets hot and it's humid."

In addition to the falling ash, the air district also reports a rise in ozone levels which is normal at this time of year with the high heat.

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air qualityweatherfresnoFresno
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