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Wildfire smoke in San Joaquin Valley leads to an air quality alert

Wildfires
Posted at 4:38 PM, Sep 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-30 19:38:11-04

SAN JOAQUIN VALLEY, Calif. (KERO) — Wildfire smoke has been particularly bad this year and smoke infiltration from the Windy and KNP Complex fires combined with high pressure and poor dispersion has resulted in an Air Quality Alert.

The smoke has continued to impact the San Joaquin Valley through Monday, October 4. Air quality officials are expecting a low-pressure system moving over the valley to improve the spread of the smoke.

There’s still a warning to residents being impacted by smoke to remain indoors and to reduce their exposure to particulate matter emissions.

Particulate matter can trigger asthma attacks, aggravate chronic bronchitis, and increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. Individuals with heart or lung disease should follow their doctors’ advice for dealing with episodes of PM exposure.

Those with existing respiratory conditions, including COVID-19, young children, and the elderly, are especially susceptible to the health effects from this form of pollution.

Anyone experiencing poor air quality due to wildfire smoke should move to a filtered, air-conditioned environment with windows closed.

Common cloth and paper masks being used as protection from COVID-19 may not be sufficient protection from wildfire smoke inhalation.