Local businesses forced to move outside now facing challenges with air quality

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A small group of people at Vino Grille & Spirits in Northeast Fresno braved hot temperatures and smoky conditions to grab a bite.

"We'll probably only be here for like 30 minutes because we don't want to be too exposed," said Alex Conter.

For him, the risk is worth supporting his favorite restaurant. It also gives his family a break from their day-to-day routine.

"Hopefully this air gets better so people can get outside," he said.

Owner Chuck Van Fleet said right now, every penny counts.

Recent triple-digit temperatures and now very unhealthy air are keeping customers away.

He's never been more frustrated.

"Business is bad. It is ridiculous we are not inside. We could be doing much better," said Van Fleet.

The air quality left Blue Moon Yoga studio in Clovis with no choice but to cancel outdoor instruction.

They're no going back to virtual classes.

"For us, we didn't want to put our students in any harm by practicing outside," said yoga instructor Christine Rose Brown. "Especially with yoga being something that relies on deep breathing."

Health professionals are advising people to stay indoors and out of this very unhealthy air. They're also reminding people with underlying or respiratory issues to use an N95 mask because surgical or cloth mask won't provide the same protection.

"These particulates that come from wildfire smoke can trigger asthma attacks, it can aggravate chronic bronchitis, it can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke," said Samir Sheikh with the San Joaquin Air Pollution Control District.

Van Fleet is now worried more than ever about the future of his business

"Based on the amount of turns we are getting and people coming in, we are losing money just about every day except Friday," he said.
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