Although containment of the Kincade Fire is progressing and the skies appear clearer, changing weather conditions over the next few days will lead to increased air pollution. Air quality levels are currently within the good range due to offshore winds and decreasing smoke. Northerly winds near the Ranch Fire in Tehama County will allow some smoke to move toward the Bay Area. The smoke is expected to continue to cause hazy skies and potentially elevated hourly air quality readings for fine particulates today and tomorrow, but air quality is not expected to exceed the federal health standard.
People may continue to experience adverse health effects from poor air quality. Members of sensitive groups may experience more serious effects, including: children, pregnant women, the elderly, and those with respiratory conditions such as asthma, lung disease and heart disease are most at risk for harmful impacts.
People with health conditions should:
- Contact your health care provider if you have concerns regarding your health condition.
- Those with heart or lung disease, older adults, pregnant individuals, and children should avoid prolonged or heavy exertion, and should either reschedule outdoor activities or move them to another location.
- Elevated particulate matter in the air can trigger wheezing in those who suffer from asthma, emphysema, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), or other respiratory conditions.
- Asthmatics should follow their asthma management plan.
- Keep up to two weeks’ worth of extra medication on hand. Be ready with plans to treat asthma or diabetes when there is smoke.
- Individuals should contact their physician if they have cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms believed to be caused by smoke. Concerned individuals should consult their physician for personalized recommendations.
Limit time spent outdoors if the smell of smoke is present. Protect your health by following these habits:
- Reduce exposure to smoky air by keeping your windows and doors closed.
- Set air conditioning units and car vent systems to re-circulate to keep outside air from moving inside.
- Run your home or car air conditioner on recycle or recirculate. Keep the fresh air intake closed and the filter clean to prevent bringing additional smoke inside.
- Because of the serious air quality conditions, residents should avoid adding additional air pollution by curtailing wood burning, lawn mowing and leaf blowing, driving, and barbecuing.
- There is no clear evidence that N-95 respirator mask use by members of the general public is beneficial to an individual’s health during wildfire smoke air quality events, and could be harmful. If you have questions about the personal use of N-95 respirator masks please contact your physician.
Online Air Quality Resources
Follow the trend at Purple Air – PurpleAir is good for directional trends and changes over time, but is known to overestimate measurements in smoky conditions.
Data from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District’s (BAAQMD) – Sebastopol monitor, maintained by air quality experts
- NSCAPCD: https://aqnow.sonoma-county.org/AirVision/
- Northern Sonoma County
- BAAQMD: https://www.baaqmd.gov/
- Southern Sonoma County
- EPA: https://www.airnow.gov
- Federal certified monitors at EPA’s AirNow site are the most accurate (but have an update delay of 2-3 hours).
- CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/features/wildfires/index.html