Written by The Business Journal Staff
Even as the weather is cooling down, wildfire smoke is once again an issue in the San Joaquin Valley.
The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District has issued a health caution due to smoke from the Ranch Fire in Mendocino County and other Northern California and Oregon fires. Smoke impacts are expected to continue throughout the weekend, with the health caution remaining in effect until the fires are extinguished.
Wildfire smoke is of particular concern since it contains particulate matter that can trigger asthma attacks, aggravate chronic heart and lung diseases and increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Residents can use the District’s Real-time Air Advisory Network (RAAN) to track air quality at any Valley address by visiting myraan.com. The RAAN monitors are designed to detect the microscopic PM2.5 particles that exist in smoke. Ash pieces, however, are much larger in size and will not be detected. If an area is covered in ash, air quality should be considered “unhealthy” (RAAN Level 4 or higher) even if the monitor reflects a lower reading.
The public can check the District’s wildfire page at www.valleyair.org/wildfires for information about any current wildfires and whether they are impacting the Valley.