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Smoke and ash from wildfires forcing air quality in Bakersfield to reach 'Very Unhealthy' levels

Posted at 3:04 PM, Aug 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-20 11:35:16-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Due to a record number of lightning strikes, extreme heat and wildfires burning across the state, air quality in Bakersfield has reached 'Very Unhealthy' levels, the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District reported on Wednesday.

The Fine Particulate Matter measurement has reached Level 5 Wednesday.

Wildfire smoke bellowing into the area has made going outside a dangerous move. When air quality reaches 'Very Unhealthy' levels it is recommended that everyone avoid outdoor activities, and stay inside if possible.

Particle pollution, like smoke, can cause serious health problems, and aggravate existing conditions, like asthma and lung disease. It can also increase the risk of respiratory infections.

An air quality alert remains in effect for Kern County until surrounding wildfires are extinguished, and smoke begins to clear.