On the worst day of smoke entering the Valley from Northern California fires, children in organized play were observed outside a popular north Fresno church.
I checked the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District’s website to find a large graphic of a yellow map showing Fresno County’s moderate “forecast” that didn’t reflect the actual danger from smoke that was so thick one would have suspected a nearby campfire.
Prior to the fires, the same forecast applied to the almond harvest particulate that turned the sky brown and contributed to the death of a loved one. The air district needs to be more proactive in its protection of the public with better education programs and warnings.
The public should also be made aware that some of the air district’s board members choose to ignore state recommendations. Their decisions seem to be based upon illogical, anti-science stances. When clean air is an option, we shouldn’t settle upon anything less, and when the air isn’t safe to breathe, we should know the consequences.
It’s the job of the air district and their 200-plus employees to protect and alert us.
Karen Flood Nielsen, Fresno