Air quality in the Valley impacted as fires increase and temperatures rise

No injuries have been reported, and no structures are threatened.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- If you woke up to the smell of smoke in the Valley Wednesday morning, you're not alone.

Several grass fires, including the Sycamore fire South of Tollhouse and the Frontier fire near Auberry, sent smoke through the region.

The Realtime Air Advisory Network (RAAN) had particulate matter peaking at a level two early in the day, with air quality slightly improving as the day went on.

Many at Woodward Park took precautions when it came to outdoor exercise.

Ileana Perez, founder of Boredom Busters Social Events and Travel Excursions says, "Even though we were taking breaks, we weren't sitting for long, just (long enough) to make sure everyone is okay doing our check-ins. See how everyone is breathing."

The non-profit creates inclusive opportunities for people of all abilities, something that had to be modified because of COVID-19.

Perez says they improvised with "virtual dances, karaoke nights on Tuesday nights and professional topics during the week."

Now the challenge is beating the triple-digit temperatures and wildfire season.

Perez says they are "constantly checking air quality and making sure everyone is checking with their doctors and making sure those that have respiratory issues are okay and making sure everyone is taking their medications."

Sentiments the Valley Air District is echoing.

Many of us are wearing face masks because of state mandates surrounding COVID-19, but the Valley Air District is warning you to not get a false sense of security when it comes to being outside. If you see or smell smoke, be sure to limit your time outdoors.

Valley Air District Chief Communications Officer, Jaime Holt says, "Smoke is often smaller than a human hair and smaller than those droplets coming out of your mouth when dealing with the COVID risks."

Talk with a medical professional about the risks and the best course of action for your daily routine, especially if you need to be outdoors for work.

Temperatures rising means pollution levels will too.

Holt adds, "When we have triple digits, what's happening is that hot sun and that heat are basically baking pollutants and its creating ozone.

The Valley Air District makes it easy to check air quality in real-time with its website and app.
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