A joint air quality advisory issued by the Placer County Department of Public Health and the Placer County Air Pollution Control District for Friday, Sept. 1, through Monday, Sept. 4

Published on September 01, 2017

AUBURN, Calif. -- The Placer County Public Health Officer and Placer County Air Pollution Control Officer are issuing a joint air quality advisory to notify the public of the potential of poor air quality conditions due to multiple fires occurring throughout the state, as well as the continued excessive heat. This advisory will be active from Friday, Sept. 1, through Monday, Sept. 4.

With the expected high temperatures in the Sacramento Valley and foothills forecast to surpass 100 degrees for the next several days, high levels of ozone are predicted for the region. Ozone levels tend to peak in the afternoon. During periods of high ozone levels, individuals should avoid strenuous outdoor activities, and instead engage in these activities in the morning or late evening. Information on current ozone levels can be found at the Placer Air website or Spare the Air website. The Spare the Air website is a useful site to monitor current air quality values. 

In addition, smoke may affect portions of Placer County from the Sacramento Valley up into the Lake Tahoe area, dependent upon wind direction, until the fires are extinguished. In the evenings, smoke tends to move downhill becoming more concentrated in lower elevation areas including western Placer County, the foothills and the valley regions of Lake Tahoe. In the afternoon and early evening hours, conditions may improve as smoke rises. Smoke contains very tiny particles that can be inhaled deep into the lungs. While all people may experience varying degrees of symptoms, the more sensitive individuals, such as young, aged and those with respiratory conditions, are of greatest risk of experiencing more aggravated symptoms. Symptoms 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, avoid all unnecessary outdoor activities, especially if you are in an area where visibility is greatly reduced. 

Here are recommended ways to reduce your smoke exposure:

  • Stay indoors with the windows and doors closed; if possible 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 recirculate
  • Avoid the use of non‐HEPA paper face mask filters, which are not capable of filtering out extra fine particulates

Anyone experiencing questionable or severe symptoms should contact their doctor if they have any questions. 

Keep in mind that air quality can change rapidly at different times during the day due to wind shifts; therefore, it is important to monitor the smoke throughout the day in your area and make outdoor plans accordingly. Information on smoke can be found at the Placer Air website or the Spare the Air website. The Spare the Air website is a useful site to monitor current air quality values.