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Department of Health Services

For Immediate Release

Sonoma County issues health advisory due to poor air quality

SANTA ROSA, CA | September 19, 2023

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Smoke from wildfires currently burning in Northern California and Southern Oregon is expected to impact the air quality throughout Sonoma County today through Wednesday, Sept. 20. The air quality is expected to be in the moderate range during this event.

Some people may experience adverse health effects from the smoke. Members of sensitive groups may experience effects that are more serious. Older adults, pregnant individuals, children and people with heart disease or respiratory illness should avoid prolonged outdoor exertion. Everyone else, especially children, should limit outdoor exertion. Take more breaks during outdoor activities.

Keep yourself and others safe:

  • Shelter in place if possible. Staying indoors with windows and doors closed, where the air quality is better, is the best way to protect your health. During high heat and heavy smoke events, keep indoor air cool.
  • Smoke can irritate the eyes and airways, causing cough, a dry scratchy throat, runny nose, trouble breathing, and irritated sinuses. Stay hydrated by drinking water during heavy smoke events.
  • High temperature can worsen effects of high Air Quality Index (AQI) events.
  • Avoid adding additional air pollution by curtailing activities such as wood burning, lawn mowing, leaf blowing, driving, barbecuing, smoking, or other dust producing activities. Avoid using hairspray and painting indoors. If possible, use a stove fan when cooking.
  • Set air conditioning units and car vent systems to recirculate to keep outside air from moving inside. 

Air Quality Monitoring (AQI) Resources:

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 two to three hours.

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Media Contact: 
Matt Brown, Communications Specialist
(707) 565-3040
575 Administration Drive, Suite 104A
Santa Rosa, CA 95403