Creek Fire: Air quality impacted as fire continues to grow

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Smoke from the fast-moving Creek Fire was expected to continue to pour into the valley for the next few days. Large pieces of ash have been visible.

This latest fire has added to our poor air quality.

Jessica Olsen of the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District said, "As you kind of saw overnight, you can see it especially here in Fresno and in the Clovis area at least in particular right now, a lot of that smoke has started to come down the mountain. You'll see tomorrow (Tuesday), unfortunately, we're just going to continue to see those impacts."

Satellite images from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration showed how smoke from both the SQF Complex and Creek Fires moved 40 miles east into Bishop on Sunday. The Air Quality Index there was 449.

A reading of 151 was enough to put a community into the unhealthy range.

The wind direction this week has now changed near the Creek Fire.

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Olsen explained, "We've been under this high pressure that's trapped a lot of these emissions really from the past several weeks, but now with the winds changing and going from east to west, that fire smoke is really gonna be directly sort of pushed into the valley."

Because of the worsening air, doctors are urging people to try to spend as much time as they can indoors.

Fresno Allergist Dr. Praveen Buddiga said, "The impact on the valley is huge because it's right in our backyard. Right in the neighborhood."

Dr. Buddiga is worried about people dealing with respiratory issues like asthma and COPD.

He said, "I would emphasize they take their medicines, take their inhalers, rinse out their sinuses. Sinus rinse because that ash is really, really going to bother them."

Dr. Buddiga added patients have complained of wheezing, coughing and difficulty breathing. He urged people to seek medical help if their conditions worsened.

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