Los Angeles

Southern California Wildfires Continue to Create Unhealthy Air Quality

As several different wildfires rage in Southern California on Wednesday, officials issued smoke and air quality advisories.


Below is a list of smoke and air quality advisories for different areas around Southern California:

Los Angeles County

The South Coast Air Quality Management District issued a smoke advisory due to the Creek, Rye and Skirball fires in Los Angeles County.

Strong winds are expected to drive smoke into the western portion of Los Angeles County through Wednesday, the SCAQMD said. Areas directly impacted by "unhealthful" air quality include portions of western and eastern San Fernando Valley, as well as the northwestern Los Angeles County coastal areas.

Residents are urged to refrain from outdoor activities. 

Santa Barbara County:

The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department and the Santa Barbara County Pollution Control District issued an air quality warning for the entire county Tuesday.

Smoke and ash from the Thomas Fire in Ventura County, officials warned, were producing varied levels of air pollution, with similar conditions possible "over the next several days."

Residents - especially those with heart or lung diseases like asthma, older adults and children - are advised to limit outdoor activities, including exercise, in areas where smoke or air quality warnings have been issued. They are also advised to use air filtering devices to help remove ash, soot and dust.

Recommendations to Help Protect Yourself

  • If you see or smell smoke, or see a lot of particles and ash in the air, avoid unnecessary outdoor activity to limit your exposure to harmful air. This is especially important for those with heart or lung disease (including asthma), the elderly and children.
  • If outdoor air is bad, try to keep indoor air as clean as possible by keeping windows and doors closed. Air conditioners that re-circulate air within the home can help filter out harmful particles.
  • Avoid using air conditioning units that only draw in air from the outside or that do not have a re-circulating option. Residents should check the filters on their air conditioners and replace them regularly. Indoor air filtration devices with HEPA filters can further reduce the level of particles that circulate indoors.
  • If it is too hot during the day to keep the doors or windows closed and you do not have an air conditioning unit that re-circulates indoor air, consider going to an air conditioned public place, such as a library or shopping center, to stay cool and to protect yourself from harmful air.
  • Do not use fireplaces (either wood burning or gas), candles, and vacuums. Use damp cloths to clean dusty indoor surfaces. Do not smoke.
  • If you have symptoms of lung or heart disease that may be related to smoke exposure, including severe coughing, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, wheezing, chest tightness or pain, palpitations, nausea or unusual fatigue or lightheadedness, contact your doctor immediately or go to an urgent care center. If life threatening, please contact 911. 
  • When smoke is heavy for a prolonged period of time, fine particles can build up indoors even though you may not be able to see them. Wearing a mask may prevent exposures to large particles. However, most masks do not prevent exposure to fine particles and toxic gases, which may be more dangerous to your health.
  • Practice safe clean-up following a fire. Follow the ash clean-up and food safety instructions on the County of Los Angeles Public Health website.
Recommendations to Protect Yourse
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