FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Recent rain has given us some clear Valley views of the surrounding mountains, but air quality experts say looks can be deceiving. Clear views do not mean air quality is no longer a concern.
"The Valley sits in a bowl with a lid on it all the time," Heather Heinks at the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District told Action News. "And even though we have some clouds moving in with wetness today, the big high-pressure lid is still over the Valley. So, it's not gone."
Heinks says the pressure lid over the Valley is always there. And it can cause many issues for the air we breathe, whether the skies are clear or cloudy.
With cooler temperatures over the past few days, many people use their fireplaces and burn wood to warm up.
But Heinks says that throws a lot of particulate matter into the atmosphere. Something even a little rain can't do much to wash away.
"Today, for example, and many days like this, you have a little bit of weather in the atmosphere but not a lot of wind to go with it," Heinks said. "A little bit of drizzly rain won't really wash out the air."
That is why on Wednesday, the air control district issued a "no burning" order, telling residents of Fresno County not to burn wood unless they have a registered clean burning device.
The agency also lowered the air quality forecast. Fresno, Tulare, and Kern Counties have moderate air on Wednesday -- down from the "good" conditions seen throughout the Valley earlier this week.
Fresno allergist Dr. Praveen Buddiga tells Action News damp weather can cause mold to grow, putting vulnerable Valley residents at higher risk.
Those with COPD and asthma should definitely be taking their medicines, and I highly recommend they take their inhalers or the nebulizers," Buddiga said. "And if they're having problems breathing, please go see their doctor."
Even if you spend time inside, Dr. Buddiga recommends a HEPA air purifier, especially if you have pets or carpet.