Storm clears Central Valley air

FRESNO, Calif.

Blue skies and fluffy clouds replaced the dingy brown tinge which settled over the Valley. The blowing breeze brought welcome relief as people headed outdoors.

"It feels so crisp and clean out and it cleaned the air here. It's beautiful so we're out walking," Karen Saiz of Fresno said.

Air Pollution Control District indicators showed the air quality was good. The green flag gave everyone the go-ahead to jog, hike and bike to their heart's content. Marty Pettey of Fresno was joined by his dogs during a ride.

"I was psyched up right when I woke up in the morning. I knew what I was in for, just got up and went and did it. We do about 12 miles with these little guys," Pettey said.

Heather Heinks of the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District said the storm's impact on our air quality was immediate.

"Good all the way across the board. We'll probably move into the moderate range over the weekend because we have to caution the community that even though we've seen some cleansing we don't want to return to polluting. We still want to avoid burning if at all possible," Heinks said.

But fireplace use and Ag burning again was permitted on Friday.

"By yesterday evening we could already see impacts of particulate matter increasing based on residential wood burning," Heinks said.

The storm brought instant clearing but it really doesn't take much burning to get the air quality back to an unhealthy level.

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