FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 20, 2023
Lyz Bantilan, Air Pollution Control District, Public Information Officer, (805) 979-8283
Ryyn Schumacher, SB County Public Health, Public Information Officer, (805) 680-8819
Air Quality Alert for Santa Barbara County
SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. — The Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District (APCD) and Santa Barbara County Public Health Department issued an Air Quality Alert for Santa Barbara County to be in effect until conditions improve. Northern Santa Barbara County is currently experiencing smoke impacts and meteorology indicates that the rest of Santa Barbara County will also experience smoke impacts in the coming days. These smoke impacts are from wildfires burning in Northern California and Oregon; the smoke from those fires is affecting much of California. This is a dynamic situation, and local air quality conditions can deteriorate quickly. Stay alert to local conditions by visiting www.ourair.org/todays-air-quality or fire.airnow.gov.
Levels of smoke and particles, and areas affected, will vary. If you see or smell smoke in the air, be cautious and use common sense to protect your and your family’s health. Everyone, especially people with heart or lung conditions, older adults, pregnant women, and children, should limit time spent outdoors and avoid outdoor exercise when high concentrations of smoke and particles are in the air.
When air quality reaches unhealthy levels, and/or if you see or smell smoke, we recommend that everyone:
- Head indoors and remain indoors, as much as possible;
- Avoid strenuous outdoor activity;
- Close all windows and doors that lead outside to prevent bringing additional smoke inside;
- Avoid driving when possible and use “recycle” or re-circulate mode to avoid drawing smoky air into the car;
- Drink plenty of fluids to keep respiratory membranes moist; and,
- If you must work outside during wildfire conditions, the use of a properly fitted N-95 mask provides protection.
When wildfire smoke is affecting your area, create a “clean air room” to keep indoor air quality safe. The best protection against wildfire smoke is to stay indoors as much as possible when smoke is present. For videos and infographics about creating a “clean air room,” click here.
Organized Outdoor Activities
Schools and programs that serve or organize activities outdoors should use the Fire and Smoke map https://fire.airnow.gov/ or APCD website (www.OurAir.org/todays-air-quality/) to identify air quality conditions based on the Air Quality Index color for their area and take the following actions:
If you have symptoms that may be related to exposure to smoke and soot, contact your health care provider. Symptoms include repeated coughing, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, wheezing, chest tightness or pain, palpitations, and nausea or unusual fatigue or lightheadedness.
Sign up to receive bilingual Air Quality Alerts (via text and/or email) from APCD and Public Health: www.OurAir.org/subscribe.