Health Warnings

Alamo Fire triggers air quality warnings

Smoke, falling ash impacting residential areas

Alamo Fire triggers air quality warnings

SANTA MARIA, Calif. - Air quality warnings have been issued in northern Santa Barbara County and southern San Luis Obispo County due to smoke and ash from the growing Alamo Fire.

As the Alamo Fire continues to burn in the foothills and canyons east of Santa Maria, its spewing smoke and ash into the air which is falling on homes and cars in neighborhoods closest to the fire.

"Its raining ash", says Santa Maria resident David Neer.

"It is, its on our outdoor furniture, I've seen it on the doormat", adds Santa Maria resident Adriann Griffith.

"Its very heavy and ash is on everything", says 47 year Santa Maria resident Sue Mandeler.

Under the air quality warning, if county residents see smoke or ash they are encouraged to stay indoors if possible and turn air conditioning to re-circulate.

People with pre-existing heart, lung or respiratory ailments, including asthma, are most at risk of exposure to smoke and ash.

According to the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department, symptoms of smoke exposure include repeated coughing, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, wheezing, chest tightness or pain, palpitations, nausea, unusual fatigue or lightheadedness.

"I would say him", Adriann Griffith said about David Neer, "because he has asthma."

"Yes, I shouldn't be out without a mask, because its very difficult", adds Sue Mandeler.

The Alamo Fire has burned closer to Santa Maria than any wildfire in recent memory.

"Since this morning, yes, definitely", Adriann Griffith says, "I didn't see anything burning this low earlier this morning."

"I've been in my home 47 years and have never considered fire", Sue Mandeler says, "just we've been lucky."

The air quality warnings are expected to remain in effect at least through the weekend.

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