The Air Quality Advisory Release
Several fires continue to impact our region with smoke: Red Salmon Complex (https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6891), August Complex (https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6983), Slater/Devil Fire (https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7173/) and Zogg Fire. USFS Air Resource Advisors (ARAs) are assigned to fires impacting our area and provide daily smoke outlook forecasts within our jurisdiction. No Air Quality ALERTs have been issued today. Air quality monitors and current AQI can be viewed at https://fire.airnow.gov.
The National Weather Service has issued Red Flag Warnings for the majority of Humboldt, Del Norte and Trinity Counties. Gusty east and northeast winds combined with hot temperatures, low humidity values, and dry vegetation will yield a critical fire weather threat through this evening. High temperatures are expected near the coast and across interior valleys today and Tuesday. Areas of poor air quality are expected today through Wednesday.
The ARA’s on the fires indicate northeast winds will move smoke towards the coast. Areas east of the fires should expect improved air quality. Coastal areas and inlands portions west of the fires should see increased smoke impacts as the winds subside and remains terrain driven. Stagnant conditions will develop along with lighter winds and smoke will become terrain driven later this week. Smoke will settle into the valleys each night and morning. Beginning tonight and into the week warmer temperatures and lighter winds will create stagnant conditions resulting in worsening air quality for Humboldt, Del Norte and Trinity Counties.
Humboldt County – An Air Quality ADVISORY is issued today for Hoopa, Weitchpec and Willow Creek.
· Eureka (including Rio Dell to Trinidad) – Moderate with periods of Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups to Unhealthy depending on proximity and elevation.
· Orleans – Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups to Unhealthy conditions depending on fire activity.
· Weitchpec – Unhealthy to Very Unhealthy conditions.
· Hoopa – Unhealthy to Very Unhealthy conditions.
· Willow Creek – Unhealthy to Very Unhealthy conditions.
· Garberville & Redway – Moderate with periods of Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups with periods of Unhealthy conditions depending on fire activity.
Del Norte County – No Air Quality ADVISORY issued today.
· Gasquet – Good to Moderate with periods of Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups conditions depending on fire activity.
· Klamath – Moderate conditions today worsening to Unhealthy by Tuesday depending on fire activity.
Trinity County – No Air Quality ADVISORY issued today.
· Weaverville and surrounding communities – Good with periods of Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups or Unhealthy by Tuesday morning.
· Hayfork – Generally Good with periods of Unhealthy conditions by Tuesday morning.
· Trinity Center – Good air quality conditions.
· Ruth, Zenia-Kettenpom – Moderate to Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups to Unhealthy conditions depending on fire activity.
· Trinity Pines – Moderate conditions expected during the day, depending on fire behavior.
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Particulate Matter (PM2.5) monitors are located in Crescent City, Gasquet, Eureka, Weaverville, Hoopa, Weitchpec, Willow Creek, Klamath, Trinity Center, Bridgeville, and Garberville. Updates will be provided as conditions change.
As with all wildfires, ash fallout is possible depending on fire activity and proximity to the fires. Ash fallout information can be found in the Wildfire Smoke Resources section of our webpage at www.ncuaqmd.org.
Health Information for Smoke Impacts
Concentrations of smoke may vary depending upon location, weather, and distance from the fire. Smoke from wildfires and structure fires contain harmful chemicals that can affect your health. Smoke can cause eye and throat irritation, coughing, and difficulty breathing. People who are at greatest risk of experiencing symptoms due to smoke include: those with respiratory disease (such as asthma), those with heart disease, young children, and older adults.
These sensitive populations should stay indoors and avoid prolonged activity. All others should limit prolonged or heavy activity and time spent outdoors. Even healthy adults can be affected by smoke. Seek medical help if you have symptoms that worsen or become severe.
Follow these general precautions to protect your health during a smoke event:
· Minimize or stop outdoor activities, especially exercise.
· Stay indoors with windows and doors closed as much as possible.
· Do not run fans that bring smoky outdoor air inside – examples include swamp coolers, whole-house fans, and fresh air ventilation systems.
· Run your air-conditioner only if it does not bring smoke in from the outdoors. Change the standard air conditioner filter to a medium or high efficiency filter. If available, use the “re-circulate” or “recycle” setting on the unit.
· Do not smoke, fry food, or do other things that will create indoor air pollution.
If you have lung disease (including asthma) or heart disease, closely monitor your health and contact your doctor if you have symptoms that worsen.
Consider leaving the area until smoke conditions improve if you have repeated coughing, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, wheezing, chest tightness or pain, palpitations, nausea, unusual fatigue, lightheadedness.
Updated guidance from the CDC is available on reducing wildfire smoke exposure given COVID-19 considerations: https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/covid-19/reduce_exposure_to_wildfire_smoke_covid-19.html.
For further information, visit the District’s website at www.ncuaqmd.org or call the District’s Wildfire Response Coordinator at (707) 443-3093 x122.
Smoke impacts may continue to reach Unhealthy to Very Unhealthy conditions over the next 24 hours in the communities indicated above (Weitchpec, Hoopa and Willow Creek). This forecast is expected to remain in effect until September 29, 2020. Updates will be provided as conditions change. No air quality ALERT for Hazardous conditions was issued today. Air quality monitors and current AQI can be viewed at https://fire.airnow.gov.
Particulate Matter (PM2.5) monitors are located in Crescent City, Gasquet, Eureka, Fortuna, Weaverville, Hoopa, Weitchpec, Willow Creek, Klamath, Trinity Center, Bridgeville, and Garberville. Updates will be provided as conditions change. Fire information can be found at http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/ or https://fire.airnow.gov/. Current weather information can be found at www.wrh.noaa.gov.
For more information, please see the NCUAQMD’s Public Service Announcements for recommendations on limiting smoke exposure on our website at www.ncuaqmd.org or call the District’s Wildfire Response Coordinator at (707) 443-3093 x122.