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Santa Barbara County residents awaken to orange sky amid California wildfires

ORANGE SKY
PATRICIA MARTELLOTTI

SANTA MARIA, Calif. - The sky is orange. Ashes are falling.

"I was kind of freaked out ... I was looking over my balcony and it definitely wasn’t sunshiny," said resident Makayla Gilliam of Santa Maria.

Wildfires across California continue to affect air quality on the Central Coast.

But air specialists in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties say the sky looks worse than the quality of the air.

"What’s ironic about all this is that our monitoring stations are actually registering green good or to moderate Air quality conditions," said Aeron Arlin Genet of Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District.

“So what we’re thinking is you know that smoke that is like a loft it’s up higher than ground level ... so our monitors are still picking up good air quality," said Meghan Field of San Luis Obispo Air Pollution Control District.

Doctors at Marian Regional Medical Center say for the average person wearing a mask is a plus when air quality is a concern.

“A regular mask is fine but you are going to want to go up on those level of masks if you have asthma or COPD or you are a higher risk with existing Lung issues,” said Dr. Alicia Kurtz with Marian Regional Medical Center.

Doctors say the best way to avoid getting smoke into your lungs... stay inside.

“Keep those windows closed and try not to let the fresh smoke build air get into your lungs for right now staying out of it is the best way,” said Kurtz.

California / Community / Coronavirus / Environment / Fire / Lifestyle / Safety / Santa Maria - North County / Video

Patricia Martellotti

Patricia Martelotti is a reporter at KEYT|KCOY|KKFX.