Wildfires creating smoky conditions across Central California

Ana Torrea Image
Tuesday, June 18, 2024
Wildfires creating smoky conditions across Central California
People who stepped outside on Tuesday, might have seen and smelled the smoky skies.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- People who stepped outside on Tuesday might have seen and smelled the smoky skies.

Hazy skies hung over the Central Valley on Tuesday, after a scarlet sunset in Merced Monday night.

Experts say most of the smoke drifting toward the San Joaquin Valley right now is coming from the 10,0000 acre Sites Fire, nearly 300 miles north in Colusa County.

"Satellite images are showing that is it moving this way," said Cassandra Melching with the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District.

"It hasn't quite hit the Valley just yet. It's up high. but we anticipate come evening hours and early morning hours, when the temperature shifts, all that smoke that is a loft will be down at ground level."

The Aero Fire, that's charred more than 5,000 acres in Calaveras County, is also sending some smoke our way.

"The folks in the higher mountain areas might be getting some impacts from that," said Melching. "But the rest of the San Joaquin Valley is going be impacted from the Sites Fire."

The Merced Office of Emergency Services shared a message on Facebook, urging people to be protect themselves from the bad air by limiting prolonged activity outdoors and staying hydrated.

Doctor Praveen Buddiga, an allergy specialist in Fresno, said the smoke can cause difficulties in breathing, a scratchy throat, and can irritate the eyes.

But he said there are steps people can take to minimize the risks.

"My recommendation would be to drive with the windows closed in your car and put the air setting to recirculate," said Dr. Buddiga.

"Also, at home, please have an air purifier with a HEPA filter. Those are two things that really help."

Doctor Buddiga tells Action News people with respiratory conditions should be especially cautious. He also recommends using a nasal rinse and washing your hair.

He said that will help flush out the smoky particles you may have inhaled or been exposed to while outdoors.

Over at Fresno Ag Hardware in northeast Fresno, COO Ian Williams said the store is seeing more people buying air filters because of air quality concerns from wildfire smoke.

"Definitely want to make sure that they are new and clean so that it's filtering out at 100% capacity," said Williams.

Williams adds people should be checking their air filters at least once month.

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