Thick smoke from NorCal, Sierra fires could cause problems, Valley air experts say

San Joaquin Valley air pollution officials are warning that smoke from the Northern California wildfires coupled with smoke from a big Tulare County wilderness fire could affect local skies.

The Lion Fire in the Sierra mountains of far eastern Tulare County, caused by a lightning strike Sept. 24, had grown to 12,850 acres by Tuesday morning. The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District said smoke from that fire is most likely to cause problems in the region’s foothills.

Several wildfires erupted Sunday night in Northern California, the worst in Santa Rosa.

Overall, the Valley’s air quality was considered moderate Tuesday. Still, the air district issued issued a Valley-wide cautionary statement warning that smoke from fires can cause serious health problems including lung disease, asthma attacks and increased risk of heart attacks and stroke.

Where conditions warrant, people with heart or lung disease should follow their doctors’ advice for dealing with episodes of particulate exposure. People with existing respiratory conditions, young children and elderly people are especially susceptible to the health effects from these pollutants. Anyone being exposed to poor air quality or wildfire smoke should move inside to an air-conditioned environment.

The air district maintains several pages with more specific, up-to-date information, including:

▪ The Real-time Air Advisory Network, www.valleyair.org/RAAN

▪ Wildfire monitoring, www.valleyair.org/wildfires