September 19 Air Quality Advisory

Published on September 19, 2014

Advisory for September 19, 2014

Placer County, CA September 19, 2014, The Placer County Public Health Officer and Placer County Air Pollution Control District are issuing this joint Air Quality Advisory to notify the public of poor air quality conditions due to smoke from the King Fire, burning in the El Dorado and Tahoe National Forests northeast of Foresthill.

Widespread smoky conditions will affect Placer County from the valley to the Lake Tahoe area, depending upon the wind direction, until the fire is extinguished. Under the current weather pattern, which may persist through Saturday, winds will primarily move smoke westward, impacting the west slope of the Sierra and lower valley areas. On Sunday, the winds are forecasted to shift, possibly bringing smoke in the early afternoon into the higher elevations, including the Lake Tahoe and Truckee areas. Chances of thunderstorms, also forecasted for the higher elevations this weekend, may also stir up smoke and impact localized areas. However all areas of the County are at risk of being impacted by smoke at any time as daytime and evening winds shift.

The major air pollutant of concern, found in wildfire smoke, is fine particulate matter also known as PM2.5. While all persons may experience varying degrees of symptoms, the more sensitive individuals, such as the young, aged and those with respiratory conditions are of greater risk of experiencing more aggravated symptoms. These may include, but are not limited to coughing, watery and itchy eyes, scratchy throat, and difficulty in breathing.

If you can see or smell smoke, consider altering your outdoor activities until air quality for your location improves:

Here are recommended ways to reduce your smoke exposure:

  • Stay indoors with the windows and doors closed; run the air conditioner on the “recirculation” setting
  • Limit outdoor exertion and physical activity
  • Leave the smoke-impacted areas until conditions improve, if possible
  • Reduce unnecessary driving. If traveling through smoke-impacted areas, be sure that your vehicle’s ventilation system is on re-circulate
  • Avoid the use of non‐HEPA paper face mask filters, which are not capable of filtering out extra fine particulates

Persons experiencing questionable or severe symptoms should contact their doctors if they have any questions.

Keep in mind that air quality can change throughout the day as the wind shifts. It is therefore important to monitor the smoke throughout the day in your area and make outdoor plans accordingly.

Updates on the King Fire can be found online and information on air quality and smoke, including access to real-time air quality monitors, can be found on the Air Pollution Control District page.