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Fire concerns bring Santa Ynez Valley residents out to get free masks and view maps

SANTA YNEZ VALLEY, Calif. - With smoke spewing from the nearby Lake Fire over a wide area of the Santa Ynez Valley, concerns are shifting with each strong gust of wind.

Residents wasted no time stopping at a special pop-up by non-profit Direct Relief where N-95 safety masks were distributed for free.

The set-up was outside of the local branch of Montecito Bank & Trust on Alamo Pintado Road.

The orange tubs were loaded from a donation from the 3M company and brought to the site from Direct Relief's warehouse near the Santa Barbara Airport.

Kim Ofilas with Direct Relief said, "we want to keep it in the community, we want to keep it local. We're based out here so we want to make sure everyone is protected out here, all the residents and business owners, we want to make sure they have all the protection from smoke and fire."

Depending on the wind shifts, the smokey skies and falling ash can be a direct hit.

"Having experienced wildfires for many season we know how important these N95 masks are and, as you say, it can come on quickly. We're happy to be giving these out today," said Ian Meyer with Direct Relief.

One of the residents stopping by was ranch resident Judy Brown who lives on Foxen Canyon. "Well the morning is terrible. The smoke is right down in the little bowl where we have the house."

Special information boards are being set up throughout the valley.

Public information officers with the fire incident command team are bringing out maps and updated information about the acres burned, the containment, and personnel assigned to the fire.

Los Angeles County Fire Public Information Officer Chris Thomas said, "people ask us where are we here and where are we and they all know that this here is under an evacuation warning," as he pointed to a map. "Sometimes they aren't sure where that is and then there's some people who have been here all their life and want to see where the fire is in relation to where they are."

Article Topic Follows: Santa Maria - Lompoc - North County
community information alerts
direct relief
fire safety
Lake Fire
N95 mask
santa ynez valley
wildfire response

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John Palminteri

John Palminteri is senior reporter for KEYT News Channel 3-12. To learn more about John, click here.


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