Andrew Goff / Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020 @ 12:05 p.m.
Tuesday Coastal Air Quality 'Unhealthy'
Smoke hovers above the North Coast Tuesday
North Coast Unified Air Quality Management District (NCUAQMD) release:
Several fires continue to impact our region with smoke: Red Salmon Complex, August Complex, Slater/Devil Fire and Zogg Fire. USFS Air Resource Advisors (ARAs) are assigned to fires impacting our area and provide daily smoke outlook forecasts within our jurisdiction. No Air Quality ALERTs have been issued today. Air quality monitors and current AQI can be viewed at https://fire.airnow.gov.
The ARA on the Red Salmon Complex advises that valley areas near the fire will remain very smoky with poor air quality. Locations along the coast (mid and northern Humboldt) are expected to see improving conditions as a westerly breeze pushes smoke east later this afternoon. Areas north and east of fire will generally see smoke increasing later in day and overnight as smoke drifts north and east.
Smoke from Red Salmon is expected to extend further north and east.
The ARA assigned to the August Complex indicates smoke will settle into valleys each night and morning and may be slow to lift or remain in place the entire day. This will lead to worsening smoke impacts and poor air quality across southern Humboldt and Trinity County. Air quality will be highly dependent on fire activity from the August Complex as well as other fires burning regionally.
The ARA on the Slater/Devil fire indicates higher level transport winds will have a southerly component and will carry smoke from the very active fires to the south, northward into the N/E Del Norte area starting this afternoon. Smoke anticipated to pool in the Klamath drainage this evening/overnight. Coastal Del Norte communities will also experience moderate impacts.
Humboldt County – An Air Quality ADVISORY is issued today for Hoopa, Weitchpec and Willow Creek.
- Eureka (including Rio Dell to Trinidad) – Unhealthy conditions, smoke anticipated to reduce throughout the day.
- Orleans – Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups.
- Weitchpec – Unhealthy to Very Unhealthy conditions.
- Hoopa – Unhealthy to Very Unhealthy conditions.
- Willow Creek – Unhealthy to Very Unhealthy conditions.
- Garberville & Redway – Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups with periods of Unhealthy depending on fire activity.
Del Norte County – No Air Quality ADVISORY issued today.
- Crescent City – Generally Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups with periods of Unhealthy conditions by afternoon.
- Gasquet – Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups conditions depending on fire activity.
- Klamath – Overall Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups.
Trinity County – An Air Quality ADVISORY was issued today for Ruth, Zenia-Kettenpom, Trinity Pines areas.
- Weaverville and surrounding communities – Moderate with periods of Unhealthy conditions.
- Hayfork – Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups with periods of Unhealthy conditions.
- Trinity Center – Overall Moderate conditions anticipated.
- Ruth, Zenia-Kettenpom –Unhealthy to Very Unhealthy conditions expected, depending on fire activity.
- Trinity Pines –Unhealthy to Very Unhealthy conditions expected, depending on fire activity.
Particulate Matter (PM2.5) monitors are located in Crescent City, Gasquet, Eureka, Fortuna, Weaverville, Hoopa, Weitchpec, Willow Creek, Klamath, Trinity Center, Bridgeville, and Garberville. Updates will be provided as conditions change.
As with all wildfires, ash fallout is possible depending on fire activity and proximity to the fires. Ash fallout information can be found in the Wildfire Smoke Resources section of our webpage at www.ncuaqmd.org.
Health Information for Smoke Impacts
Concentrations of smoke may vary depending upon location, weather, and distance from the fire. Smoke from wildfires and structure fires contain harmful chemicals that can affect your health. Smoke can cause eye and throat irritation, coughing, and difficulty breathing. People who are at greatest risk of experiencing symptoms due to smoke include: those with respiratory disease (such as asthma), those with heart disease, young children, and older adults.
These sensitive populations should stay indoors and avoid prolonged activity. All others should limit prolonged or heavy activity and time spent outdoors. Even healthy adults can be affected by smoke. Seek medical help if you have symptoms that worsen or become severe.
Follow these general precautions to protect your health during a smoke event:
Minimize or stop outdoor activities, especially exercise.
Stay indoors with windows and doors closed as much as possible.
Do not run fans that bring smoky outdoor air inside – examples include swamp coolers, whole-house fans, and fresh air ventilation systems.
Run your air-conditioner only if it does not bring smoke in from the outdoors. Change the standard air conditioner filter to a medium or high efficiency filter. If available, use the “re-circulate” or “recycle” setting on the unit.
Do not smoke, fry food, or do other things that will create indoor air pollution.
If you have lung disease (including asthma) or heart disease, closely monitor your health and contact your doctor if you have symptoms that worsen.
Consider leaving the area until smoke conditions improve if you have repeated coughing, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, wheezing, chest tightness or pain, palpitations, nausea, unusual fatigue, lightheadedness.
Updated guidance from the CDC is available on reducing wildfire smoke exposure given COVID-19 considerations: https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/covid-19/reduce_exposure_to_wildfire_smoke_covid-19.html.