Wildfires Cause Air Quality Alerts in Southern California

Smoke from the Springs Fire over the Conejo Valley in Ventura County. | Photo: Night Owl City/Flickr/Creative Commons License

A number of wildfires in Southern California have prompted air quality officials to release warnings this week.

The largest blaze, the Springs Fire in the western Santa Monica Mountains, has charred 28,000 acres and is 20 percent contained. The Ventura County Air Pollution Control District on Friday said "levels reached the Unhealthy range," which could persist throughout the weekend. The agency urged people in areas "directly affected by smoke and ash ... to exercise caution and avoid vigorous outdoor or indoor exertion." More details and tips can be found on their website.

Over in Riverside County, public officials earlier this week advised residents of smoke from the Summit Fire, which has scorched nearly 3,000 acres since Wednesday in the Banning area. "Wildfire smoke, which is a mixture of small particles, gases, and water vapor, is covering portions of the [San Gorgonio] Pass area and could cause residents health problems," a press release read.

The fires have neighboring counties releasing public health alerts and advisories, too. In Los Angeles County, the South Coast Air Quality Management District said smoke from the Springs Fire and a small conflagration on Friday in Glendale impacted the San Fernando Valley, West San Gabriel Valley, and the coastal area from Malibu to Santa Monica. "[A]ll individuals are urged to be cautious and to avoid unnecessary outdoor activities," said L.A. County Health Officer Jonathan Fielding.

San Bernardino and Santa Barbara counties also released air quality warnings.

About the Author

Zach Behrens is KCETLink's Editor-in-Chief of Blogs, where he oversees website editorial and advises on projects. When he does write, he mostly covers local government, environment, and the outdoors.
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