Local News

SLO County Air Quality Impacted by Smoke from Wildfires

SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY, Calif. - An Air Quality Alert for San Luis Obispo County has been extended until Monday, July 31, 2016.

San Luis Obispo air quality is being impacted by smoke from the Soberanes Fire in neighboring Monterey County, being transported into SLO County, according Public Health officials.

The SLO County Air Pollution Control District issued the following statement:

Skies are hazy and fine particulate (PM2.5) concentrations are higher than normal due to transported smoke from the fire. Changing winds and fire conditions make it difficult to predict which areas of the county may be most affected. However, until the fires are put out, smoke will likely be intermittently present in our region.

Currently, impacts are greatest in the northern part of SLO County, including Paso Robles, Atascadero and Hearst Castle State Park in San Simeon. If you smell smoke or see ash fall, the County officials recommend that you take precautions to reduce the harmful health effects by limiting outdoor activities.

These precautions are especially important for people with respiratory and heart conditions. Residents are encouraged to use common sense and take precautions to reduce the harmful health effects associated with smoke exposure. When it is obvious that there is smoke in the air, County officials recommend that individuals avoid strenuous outdoor activity and remain indoors as much as possible.

At times, the potential exists for all people to be affected by the smoke. If a cough, shortness of breath, wheezing, exhaustion, light-headedness or chest pain occurs, outdoor activity should be stopped and the affected person should seek medical attention.

To clean ash, please do the following: use a damp cloth and spray areas lightly with water, directing ash-filled water to ground areas, and away from the runoff system; take your vehicle to the car wash; wash off toys that have been outside in the ash; clean ash off pets; due to the corrosive nature of ash, avoid any skin contact with the ash (wear gloves, long-sleeved shirts); and do not use leaf blowers.

Please note, if you have heart or lung problems, try not to do any ash cleanup or do anything that stirs the particles back up into the air. In addition, do not allow kids to play in the ash.