Bad air quality: Valley paramedics, firefighters see spike in emergency cases

The Fresno Fire department has responded to between 90 and 120 medical calls a day since the Valley hit a stretch of high heat.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- It's never a good situation when we can see the air we're breathing.

But that's what we're dealing with as smoke from wildfires around the state continues to pour into the Valley, worsening air quality.

The sun was barely able to break through that smoky haze.

As a result, paramedics and firefighters have noticed a spike in the number of people who need emergency services.

The Fresno Fire department has responded to between 90 and 120 medical calls a day since we hit that stretch of high heat.

Deputy Fire Chief Rich Cabral says the bad air worsens symptoms for those with breathing issues like asthma.

"We're seeing an increase in medical types of emergencies like difficulty of breathing," says Cabral.

"Any time the temperature increases above 100 degrees, we can expect to see a 15-20% increase in our call volume."

Of all the Valley counties, Fresno County had the poorest air quality.

Many doctors are worried about their patients.

"Because of the heat they have been dehydrated all these days and now with the fires they can't breathe," says Dr. Pradeen Buddiga.

Some parts of the Valley enjoyed a slight breeze but it's not part of a strong system needed to clean up our poor air quality.

Doctors can't stress enough - if you can limit your time outdoors, please do so.

Track wildfires across Central California and the state with this interactive map
Copyright © 2020 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.