Fresno County experiencing best streak of good air quality in nearly 20 years

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Recent weather patterns have shifted allowing for more storms to move into the Central Valley.

That's been great for our rain and snowfall totals and for our air quality.

"From the start of January, we have seen incredible air quality in the Valley. And even on the few days where you see stagnation building, you can find that air quality levels are still low," said Heather Heinks, Valley Air District.

So far this year Fresno County has had 57 days of good air quality status.

Heinks said that's the most on record since the Valley Air District began keeping track in the year 2000.

She gives credit to Mother Nature, cleaner technology and people changing their daily habits.

"Maybe you have tried an electric vehicle recently, maybe you realize that you should turn your car off when you are out in front of your child's school and not idle. Maybe you eliminated a lunch trip once a week. All of those habits have built up and helped us reduce pollution," said Heinks.

The streak of good air quality days is expected to continue since late winter and early spring have ideal conditions.

The mild temperatures allow for people to cut back on use of their fireplace.

"We get to the point where we are out of wood burning season. The PM numbers drop and it is not hot enough for ozone to be a real issue," said Heinks.

The Valley Air District points out the real battle for good air quality is during the summer.

That's when cars, big rigs, and diesel equipment cause 85% of pollution in the Central Valley.
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