Note, posted on Thursday, December 21, 2017: Air quality conditions have improved significantly. We expect to downgrade the Air Quality Warning soon and will share more information when it is available.
Note, posted on Monday, December 18, 2017: This Air Quality Warning remains in effect. While air quality conditions have improved since the previous week, there are concerns about winds stirring up ash. When the Air Quality Warning is downgraded or cancelled, a new advisory will be issued.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 15, 2017
Susan Klein-Rothschild, Santa Barbara County Public Health Deputy Director, (805) 896-1057
Lyz Hoffman, Air Pollution Control District Public Information Officer, (805) 364-2247
Air Quality Warning in Effect Through Weekend
Ash may become locally airborne on Saturday in areas of stronger winds.
Be prepared and keep your N95 particulate masks handy.
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — Air quality conditions are expected to be highly variable this weekend, especially in southern Santa Barbara County. Monitoring stations continue to record unhealthy air, with levels of invisible fine particles (PM 2.5) still high. While winds may improve air quality in some areas, they can also stir up ash over the weekend. Areas affected will vary. The Air Quality Warning will remain in effect until conditions improve.
The levels of poor air quality and the extensive time with unhealthy air due to this wildfire, as well as the volume of ash that has been depositied, are unprecedented. The District and Public Health are working in partnership with regional, state, and national agencies, and have developed some resources for ash clean-up.
People should avoid ash clean-up in areas where air quality conditions remain unhealthy.
- See best practices for cleaning up ash when air quality conditions allow, including information on street sweeping: Ash Cleanup & http://countyofsb.org/cleanup.sbc
- See Health Notice for Local Landscapers regarding not using leaf blowers: https://www.ourair.org/121317a-news/
The Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District has set up temporary air monitoring stations to record levels of fine particles (PM 2.5) in Carpinteria, Santa Ynez, and Los Alamos. See Today’s Air Quality for current conditions in these locations and throughout the county. Daily smoke forecasts — in English and Spanish, and also shown in map form — are also posted.
If you have symptoms that may be related to exposure to smoke and soot, contact your doctor. Symptoms include repeated coughing, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, wheezing, chest tightness or pain, palpitations, headaches, and nausea or unusual fatigue or lightheadedness.
See tips for how to protect yourself from wildfire smoke.