NewsCovering Kern County


Air officials: Be mindful of air quality over New Year's weekend

Posted at 2:37 PM, Dec 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-29 17:37:09-05

It’s no secret Kern County has some of the worst air quality in the nation.  And health officials are reminding residents to avoid activities that can add to valley pollution over the New Year’s weekend.


A strong high-pressure system influencing the valley this week has caused stagnant conditions and led to unhealthy air quality, health officials said.


Residents are urged to prevent lighting fireworks, avoiding residential wood burning and decreasing vehicle use during the New Year Holiday, air officials said.


Some options include driving less, refraining from vehicle idling, trip linking and avoiding the use of drive-through services.


Although the level of pollution being emitted in the valley is the lowest in recorded history, the recent large Thomas wildfire coupled with a strong inversion layer that has prevented pollution from dispersing, has resulted in a build-up of particulates over the past week. 


Fireworks increase levels of dangerous particulate matter in the atmosphere, including soot, ash and metals, which can cause serious health impacts, especially to individuals with existing respiratory conditions, elderly people and small children, officials said. 


Additionally, residents should visit daily to see if wood burning is allowed before using a wood burning device.