Madera, Fresno, Kings, Tulare counties at risk from Mineral Fire smoke, say experts

The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District says smoke from the Mineral Fire near Coalinga is having an impact on air quality in the Valley, and it could get worse in the days to come.

"We've gotten some smoke from this fire, but not a great deal so far," said Valley Air District Valley Air District Outreach and Communications Representative Anthony Presto.

"We do have the potential of that inversion layer relaxing or breaking and then smoke could really infiltrate the San Joaquin Valley."

Presto said the central and southern parts of the Valley, including Madera, Fresno, Kings, Tulare, and Kern Counties, are likely to be impacted the most by smoke from the Mineral Fire.

RELATED: Mineral Fire: New evacuations issued for some Fresno Co. residents

The very young, old, and those with breathing conditions are the groups of people most sensitive to particulate matter pollution.

Presto said there's really only one sure-fire way to protect yourself from it.

"The best thing you can do if you smell smoke, or if you smell and see smoke in your immediate vicinity, you really want to stay inside if you can at all," Presto said.

Valley Air District officials say when it comes to protecting yourself from wildfire smoke, cloth masks used for COVID-19 just aren't going to cut it.

To check air quality where you are, head to myraan.org or download the Valley Air District app on your phone.

But Presto said you shouldn't use them as a substitute for your own senses.

To get the best air quality conditions, use your own eyes and nose too.
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