The South Coast Air Quality Management District has issued another smoke advisory today for large areas of Riverside County. Air quality may reach the Unhealthy range or higher in these areas.
All individuals are urged to exercise caution and avoid unnecessary outdoor activities in any area directly impacted by smoke. This includes areas where residents can see or smell smoke.
The Silver Fire is burning south of Banning. The fire is moving toward the east, with smoke moving down the Banning Pass. The Falls Fire is burning five miles west of Lake Elsinore and is expected to be contained by Friday. Areas directly impacted by lingering smoke and ash may experience air quality in the Unhealthy range, or higher. Depending on fire and weather conditions, the portions of the South Coast Air Basin where smoke impacts and Unhealthy air quality are most likely to occur include:
- portions of Lake Elsinore;
- portions of the Perris Valley area;
- portions of the Hemet/San Jacinto Valley area;
- portions of the Banning Pass area;
- portions of the Coachella Valley area; and
- portions of the Temecula Valley area.
Smoke may also cause particulate air quality to reach Moderate to Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups levels at times in surrounding areas, including northwest portions of the Capistrano Valley area.
In any area impacted by smoke:
- Everyone should avoid any vigorous outdoor or indoor exertion; people with respiratory or heart disease, the elderly, and children should remain indoors. Keep windows and doors closed or seek alternate shelter. Run your air conditioner if you have one. Do not use a swamp cooler or whole-house fan to prevent bringing additional smoke inside. To avoid worsening the health effects of wildfire smoke, don’t use indoor or outdoor wood-burning appliances, including fireplaces.
- For anyone not able to avoid a smoky area, a special N95 or P100 respirator mask worn properly may help protect against the fine particles in smoke. Paper or surgical masks do not protect the wearer from smoke. To learn more on how to properly wear a special respirator mask and help protect from wildfire smoke, go to http://www.arb.ca.gov/videos/impacts_of_smoke.htm and http://www.bepreparedcalifornia.ca.gov/beinformed/naturaldisasters/wildfires/documents/wildfiresmokeaguideforpublichealthofficialsrevisedjuly2008final.pdf
To subscribe to air quality alerts, advisories and forecasts by e-mail, go to AirAlerts.org.
To view current air quality conditions by region in an interactive map, see http://www3.aqmd.gov/webappl/gisaqi2/home.aspx.
For more tips on avoiding health impacts from smoke, see http://www.aqmd.gov/ej/CAC/wildfire_safety_tips.htm on SCAQMD’s website.
SCAQMD is the air pollution control agency for Orange County and major portions of Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside counties.