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Officials speak about the bad air quality resulting from the surrounding fires

Western Wildfires
Posted at 5:13 PM, Sep 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-27 21:36:08-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Smoke from the Windy and KNP Complex fires burning just north of Kern County are continuing to impact the air quality in Bakersfield.

The smoke from the hazy skies not only negatively impact people out in the community but also plays a role for those working in these conditions like firefighters

“Now with the air quality being what it is, we are trying to limit the exposure to the air and keep our crews indoors as much as we possibly can to protect them from that. But, when they are on scene of a call, they just have to get inside and/or wear their self-contained breathing apparatus on fires,” Michael Taylor Bakersfield Police Department Captain

Taylor said they do everything they can to protect themselves amid the poor air quality and so should anyone else who has to work in these conditions.

Doctor Hemmal Kothary with Dignity Health said respiratory issues are common this time of year.

“This is actually very common this time of year. Anytime the fair comes into town, we see a lot more of this respiratory stuff happen. We see a lot more people come into the hospital with asthma flair-ups and breathing problems. So, this is actually very, very common for this time of year,” said Kothary.

There are a few groups who are more at risk when it comes to breathing in the bad air.

“Those that are at highest risk according to the center for disease control, are people with asthma, heart diseases, COPD, pregnant women and even children,” Michelle Corson, Kern County Public Health Department, PIO

Corson said the best thing you can do to protect yourself is stay inside.

“It sounds simple but staying indoors, really is your best protection, avoiding being outdoors, inhaling the smoke, the bad air, really is the best recommendation,” said Corson.

Corson also said that with COVID-19 we are so used to wearing these cloth masks but the best mask to wear outside with poor air quality is an n-95 mask.