SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. - The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department and the Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District issued an Air Quality Warning for Santa Barbara County on Monday due to lingering smoke from the giant wildfires in the north.
The departments predict air quality throughout the county will continue being affected through the end of this week.
They explained the significant amount of smoke being produced by Northern California's wildfires is beng held in the upper atmosphere and is reaching ground level throughout the state.
Because of the unpredictability of smoke and its impact, the departments warn air quality conditions could deteriorate quickly.
If you see or smell smoke in the air at any time, it is best to remain cautious and protect your and your family's health if necessary. Everyone, especially people with heart or lung conditions, older adults, pregnant women, and children, should limit time spent outdoors and avoid outdoor exercise when high concentrations of smoke and particles are in the air.
When air quality reaches unhealthy levels and/or you see or smell smoke, Public Health and Air Pollution Control recommend you:
- Head indoors and remain indoors, as much as possible;
- Avoid strenuous outdoor activity;
- Close all windows and doors that lead outside to prevent bringing additional smoke inside;
- Avoid driving when possible and use “recycle” or re-circulate mode to avoid drawing smoky air into the car;
- Drink plenty of fluids to keep respiratory membranes moist; and,
- If you are an essential worker and must work outside during wildfire conditions, the use of a properly fitted N-95 mask provides protection.
You can also create a "clean air room" to help keep indoor air quality safe. Information on how to create a "clean air room" can be found here.