Is it snow? Is it rain? No, that's dangerous ash falling from the skies in Visalia

The air has been filled with smoke from the nearby Windy and KNP Complex fires.
VISALIA, Calif. (KFSN) -- Central California was covered in a thick blanket of unhealthy smoke on Sunday.

As bad as it was in Fresno and the North Valley, the South Valley saw the worst air quality in our region.

Ash could be seen falling in Visalia like snow. Breathing it in is dangerous.

"It's like smoking a pack a day, just living on the valley floor. It's awful," said Alaura Shouse, who lives in Visalia.

The air has been filled with smoke from the nearby Windy and KNP Complex fires.

The conditions outside were so bad Sunday that some areas were beyond unhealthy - they crossed into hazardous air quality.

Experts say masking up is a good idea - an N95 mask can keep the harmful particulate matter in smoke from entering your lungs and bloodstream.

"The best thing to do is leave if you can and obviously that's not a good opportunity for many people," said Linda Chappell, Air Resource Adviser for the Windy Fire.

Leaving the area is not an option for Shouse.

"Not everybody can go stay at the coast for a weekend or escape and not have work. We all have to keep going," said Shouse.

People have to make the best of the situation - and doing so safely includes keeping all windows and doors shut.

Experts also advise, if possible, closing off all larger rooms of your house and staying in one room with an air purifier for most of the day.

And when driving, you'll want to keep those windows closed too.

Before heading outdoors, you can check air conditions online.

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