Santa Rosa, CA – November 1, 2019 – Although containment of the Kincade Fire is progressing and the skies appear clearer, changing weather conditions over the next few days will lead to increased air pollution. Air quality levels are currently within the good range due to offshore winds and decreasing smoke. However, colder overnight and morning temperatures combined with low humidity through the weekend are expected to cause increased concentration of unhealthy air pollutants, particularly for Santa Rosa and Northern Sonoma County.
People may continue to experience adverse health effects from poor air quality. Members of sensitive groups may experience more serious effects, including: children, pregnant women, the elderly, and those with respiratory conditions such as asthma, lung disease and heart disease are most at risk for harmful impacts. People with health conditions should:
- Contact your health care provider if you have concerns regarding your health condition.
- Those with heart or lung disease, older adults, pregnant individuals, and children should avoid prolonged or heavy exertion, and should either reschedule outdoor activities or move them to another location.
- Elevated particulate matter in the air can trigger wheezing in those who suffer from asthma, emphysema, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), or other respiratory conditions.
- Asthmatics should follow their asthma management plan.
- Keep up to two weeks’ worth of extra medication on hand. Be ready with plans to treat asthma or diabetes when there is smoke.
- Individuals should contact their physician if they have cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms believed to be caused by smoke. Concerned individuals should consult their physician for personalized recommendations.
Limit time spent outdoors if the smell of smoke is present. Protect your health by following these habits:
- Reduce exposure to smoky air by keeping your windows and doors closed.
- Set air conditioning units and car vent systems to re-circulate to keep outside air from moving inside.
- Run your home or car air conditioner on recycle or recirculate. Keep the fresh air intake closed and the filter clean to prevent bringing additional smoke inside.
- Because of the serious air quality conditions, residents should avoid adding additional air pollution by curtailing wood burning, lawn mowing and leaf blowing, driving, and barbecuing.
- There is no clear evidence that N-95 respirator mask use by members of the general public is beneficial to an individual’s health during wildfire smoke air quality events, and could be harmful. If you have questions about the personal use of N-95 respirator masks please contact your physician.
Follow the trend of air quality at this website: https://www.purpleair.com/map#7.79/38.272/-122.006.
Note: The monitors providing data to this site are not routinely calibrated and air quality experts indicate the data from these monitors “run high”.
Data from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District’s (BAAQMD) Sebastopol monitor, which is maintained by air quality experts, is located here: http://www.baaqmd.gov
When checking the AQI, please note that federal certified monitors at EPA’s AirNow Fires site are most accurate (but have an update lag of 2-3 hours). PurpleAir is good for directional trends and changes over time, but is known to overestimate measurements in smoky conditions.