The air wasn’t so cruddy on Monday morning in Fresno, Clovis, Hanford, Visalia or most any other place in the San Joaquin Valley – in contrast to the weekend.
In Bakersfield, air quality was actually good, especially after a storm passed through.
Yet, the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District ordered folks not to burn wood at home on Monday. And the AirNow website from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency predicts the Valley’s air would be the worst in the country Monday – by far, the worst.
What gives? Short version: The atmosphere can change quickly. But you still couldn’t burn wood on Monday.
The fog on Monday was the drippy variety. Air district executive director Seyed Sadredin said the wet fog bogged down the bad particles. A lot of them wound up on the ground in the early morning.
Drier air allows the particles to hang in the air, Sadredin said. But conditions could change quickly again as the sun returns, allowing the particles to float easily and turn the air back into a mess.
That’s why I point people to the air district’s hourly updates online, otherwise known as Real-Time Air Advisory Network or RAAN. Find out what’s going on in your area before you send your children out to play or exercise.
The air district did not change its no-burn order for Monday, though. From Madera County south to Kern, nobody is allowed to burn wood in open fireplaces or even in certified, registered inserts today.
Sadredin said: “We want to prevent a buildup of particulates. We will assess each afternoon and come out with new forecasts each day.”