Stagnant air flow and high particulate matter elevate air quality to level red

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Pollutants trapped in the Central Valley air are making the outdoors unhealthy for everyone and it brought patients into the Allergy Institute.

"These days have been busier than usual for this time of the year, usually people are on vacation and they're trying to enjoy the holiday season, but they're not feeling well. They need to be seen so we've had a lot of sick calls today for people who have breathing problems," said A.M. Aminian, M.D.

With nowhere for buildup of pollution to go, and as stagnant weather conditions linger the pollution density increases, making it illegal to burn in Fresno, Kings and Tulare counties.

"From cars and trucks to any kind of combustion wood burning any kind of fire all of that kind of pollution lingers and stays trapped and it is not able to disperse and it builds over time," said Outreach and Communications Manager Heather Heinks.

The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District has teams searching for illegal burns and anyone disregarding the regulation will face a fine.

Even though the air quality might not stay in the level red for the entire day, it is enough for people to feel the effects of the particulate matter in the air.

"As a result of that people feel a sense of chest heaviness, chest tightness, shortness of breath, eyes get burning sensation, dry and people just don't feel good because they're not getting enough oxygen," said Dr. Aminian.
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