air quality

Map: See how smoke from the Post Fire is affecting LA County air quality

The Post Fire started over the weekend and generated thick smoke that spread over Los Angeles County.

NBC Universal, Inc.

An air quality alert is in effect for parts of Los Angeles and Ventura counties Monday due to smoke from a wildfire that grew to more than 14,000 acres over the weekend.

The Post Fire started Saturday afternoon at Ralph's Ranch and Gorman School roads in the northern Los Angeles County community of Gorman, near the 5 Freeway. Fanned by strong winds, the fire grew to about 15,000 acres as of Monday and was just 8-percent contained.

"We're keeping an eye on the Post Fire and the smoke that it is releasing into the air is causing some poor air quality," said NBC4 forecaster Belen De Leon. "This smoke is spreading into lower elevations, as well."

A red flag warning, indicating hot, dry and windy conditions, was issued for the 5 Freeway corridor in the area through Tuesday evening. Several other fires were reported over the weekend, including in Lancaster and San Bernardino County.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District issued a wildfire smoke advisory for the Santa Clarita and Castaic areas, with northwesterly winds expected to push smoke from the fire southeast toward Santa Clarita, the San Fernando Valley and parts of the Angeles National Forest.

"Northwesterly winds will again push smoke from the Post Fire southeast towards the San Fernando Valley, Santa Clarita, and the Angeles National Forest. AQI may reach Unhealthy or higher," the agency said in a Monday update.

The agency advised people in the area to limit their exposure by remaining indoors with windows and doors closed or by seeking immediate shelter, avoid vigorous physical activity and to run their air conditioners or air purifiers.

"It's best to avoid using swamp coolers or whole house fans that bring in outside air," the agency said. "Residents should also avoid burning wood in their fireplaces or firepits. And, if they absolutely must be outside, a properly fit N95 mask or P100 respirator may provide some protection."

Air quality health tips

The South Coast Air Quality Management District offered the following tips to limit the health impacts of wildfire smoke.

  • Limit your exposure by remaining indoors with windows and doors closed or seeking alternate shelter.
  • Avoid vigorous physical activity.
  • Run your air conditioning and/or an air purifier. If possible, do not use swamp coolers or whole house fans that bring in outside air.
  • Avoid burning wood in your fireplace or firepit and minimize sources of indoor air pollution such as candles, incense, pan-frying, and grilling.
  • If you must be outside, a properly fit N95 or P100 respirator may provide some protection.
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