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Health Officials Warn Air Quality May Be Affected in Santa Barbara County Due to Wildfires and High Temps

The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department and the Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District issued a statement on Thursday noting that local air quality conditions may be impacted by wildfires in Monterey County and others burning in California as well as high temperatures throughout the summer.

“Depending on wind and weather conditions, smoke and ash from the Soberanes Fire currently burning in Monterey County, as well as other wildfires across California, could affect the county’s air. In addition, high temperatures may help generate elevated levels of ground-level ozone, commonly referred to as smog,” read the statement.

“Both smoke and smog can cause negative health effects. Symptoms can include coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chest tightness or pain, palpitations, nausea, and unusual fatigue or lightheadedness. Be cautious and use common sense to protect your and your family’s health this summer if wildfire conditions and high temperatures continue. Contact your doctor if you experience symptoms.”

The statement continued, “Be aware that winds can stir up ash over time, and those particles can be broken into smaller particles and get blown into the air. You are urged to avoid using leaf blowers or doing any activities that will stir up ash. If ash is present, sweep gently with a broom and take your car to a car wash. Everyone should avoid skin contact with ash, and no one with heart or lung conditions should handle ash cleanup.”

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