News Releases and Air Alerts

Tips for Cleaner Fireplace Burning and Safer Homes

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — The Santa Barbara County Fire Department and the Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District announced today tips for cleaner fireplace burning and safer homes. As the weather cools, and the holiday season approaches, it is important to remember that fireplace fires can cause emergencies, and breathing wood smoke is bad for our lungs and our hearts. Follow these suggestions for a safer and healthier community.

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Hot Weather Impacts Air Quality over the Weekend

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District announced today that air monitoring stations around the county recorded concentrations of ozone above health-based standards over the weekend. Ground-level ozone is a principal component of smog.

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Air Quality Warning Issued for Santa Barbara County 

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department and the Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District today issued an Air Quality Warning for Santa Barbara County to be in effect through the weekend, changing the previously-issued Watch to a Warning, as air quality in some areas is already affected. District monitoring stations are recording elevated levels of particles and ground-level ozone likely due to a combination of impacts of smoke from the Springs Fire in the Camarillo area and hot weather conditions.   Levels of ozone, a principal component of smog, are approaching levels considered unhealthful for sensitive groups, including children, older adults, and people with heart or lung conditions. Everyone, and especially sensitive individuals, should limit outdoor activities and avoid outdoor exercise. Ozone levels are typically highest in late afternoon and early evening.

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Smog Season Begins – Hot Weather Impacts Air Quality

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. ? The Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District (District) announced that levels of ground-level ozone, a principal component of smog, recorded yesterday at county monitoring stations exceeded state and federal health standards.The federal eight-hour ozone standard was exceeded at stations in Santa Barbara, Carpinteria, El Capitan, and Las Flores Canyon (on the Gaviota Coast). In addition, ozone levels at these stations exceeded the state eight-hour ozone standard, which was also exceeded at stations in Goleta, Lompoc, Nojoqui, and Paradise Road.

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Hot Weather Impacts Air Quality

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – The Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District (District) announced that health-based air quality standards were exceeded on Friday at county monitoring stations, likely due to hot weather conditions. Concentrations of ground-level ozone, a principal component of smog, recorded Friday at stations in Carpinteria and Lompoc exceeded both the federal eight-hour ozone standard and the state eight-hour ozone standard, and ozone concentrations at the  Las Flores Canyon (Gaviota coast), Paradise Road, Santa Ynez, and Vandenberg Air Force Base stations exceeded the state ozone standard. In addition, the state standard for particulate matter less than 10 microns in diameter (PM10) was exceeded at the Santa Maria station on both Friday and Sunday, due to very windy conditions.

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Air Quality Warning Issued for Northern Santa Barbara County

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. ? The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department and the Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District today issued an Air Quality Warning for Northern Santa Barbara County. Air quality may be poor in some areas, especially the Santa Maria area, due to elevated particle levels caused by high winds. The high winds are expected to continue overnight and tomorrow as well. This advisory is in effect until Friday morning.   Similar wind patterns have resulted in exceedances of the state standard for particulate matter less than 10 microns in diameter (PM10) at the Santa Maria monitoring station yesterday and at the Lompoc monitoring station Monday.  If you are in an area where there are high levels of dust in the air, be cautious and use common sense to protect your family?s health. Everyone, especially people with heart or lung disease (including asthma), older adults, and children, should limit time spent outdoors, and avoid outdoor exercise when high concentrations of dust and particles are in the air. If you have symptoms of lung or heart disease that may be related to exposure to particles, including repeated coughing, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, wheezing, chest tightness or pain, palpitations, nausea or unusual fatigue or lightheadedness, contact your health care provider.

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Air Quality Watch Issued for Northern Santa Barbara County 

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. ? The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department and the Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District today issued an Air Quality Watch for Northern Santa Barbara County. High winds are forecast that could produce elevated particle levels and poor air quality in some areas, especially the Santa Maria area. The strongest winds are anticipated to occur Tuesday afternoon; high winds are expected to continue through THURSDAY Evening. This advisory is in effect until FRIDAY MORNING JUNE 8. Similar wind patterns in May resulted in exceedances of the state standard for particulate matter less than 10 microns in diameter (PM10) at the Santa Maria and Lompoc monitoring stations.   If you are in an area where there are high levels of dust in the air, be cautious and use common sense to protect your family?s health. Everyone, especially people with heart or lung disease (including asthma), older adults, and children, should limit time spent outdoors, and avoid outdoor exercise when high concentrations of dust and particles are in the air. If you have symptoms of lung or heart disease that may be related to exposure to particles, including repeated coughing, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, wheezing, chest tightness or pain, palpitations, nausea or unusual fatigue or lightheadedness, contact your health care provider.

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Air Quality Watch Issued for Southern and Central Santa Barbara County 

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. ? The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department and the Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District today issued an Air Quality Watch for Southern and Central Santa Barbara County to be in effect until Thursday morning.  Air quality may be poor in some areas due to smoke and ash from the Lookout Fire, which is currently burning in the Los Padres National Forest near Highway 154 and Painted Cave Road.      If you see or smell smoke in the air where you are, be cautious and use common sense to protect your family?s health. Everyone, especially people with heart or lung disease (including asthma), older adults, and children, should limit time spent outdoors, and avoid outdoor exercise when high concentrations of dust and particles are in the air. If you have symptoms of lung or heart disease that may be related to exposure to particles, including repeated coughing, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, wheezing, chest tightness or pain, palpitations, nausea or unusual fatigue or lightheadedness, contact your health care provider.   Levels of smoke and particles will depend on changes in winds, and the movement of the fire. This Air Quality Watch is in effect until Thursday morning and may be extended as conditions warrant.

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Air Quality Watch Issued for Northern Santa Barbara County 

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. ? The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department and the Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District today issued an Air Quality Watch for Northern Santa Barbara County to be in effect as long as conditions warrant.  Air quality may be poor in some areas due to smoke from the Coon Creek Fire currently burning in San Luis Obispo County in the Montaña de Oro State Park.   Smoke from the fire affected Northern Santa Barbara County yesterday in the evening, and the air monitoring stations in Santa Maria and Lompoc recorded elevated levels of particles. Weather conditions may be similar today in the late afternoon and early evening, and winds could move smoke into Northern Santa Barbara County, potentially affecting the areas of Guadalupe, Lompoc, Orcutt, and Santa Maria in particular.   If you see or smell smoke in the air where you are, be cautious and use common sense to protect your family?s health. Everyone, especially people with heart or lung disease (including asthma), older adults, and children, should limit time spent outdoors, and avoid outdoor exercise when high concentrations of dust and particles are in the air. If you have symptoms of lung or heart disease that may be related to exposure to particles, including repeated coughing, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, wheezing, chest tightness or pain, palpitations, nausea or unusual fatigue or lightheadedness, contact your health care provider.   Levels of smoke and particles will depend on changes in winds, and the containment of the fire. This Air Quality Watch is in effect for as long as conditions warrant.

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