Santa Clarita Valley residents awoke Tuesday morning to a yellow hue in the sky due to poor air quality being created by nearby fires, and it wasn’t much improved by Wednesday morning.
As soot and ash was seen on peoples’ driveways, the Los Angeles County Public Health Department issued a smoke advisory on Tuesday, warning residents of the dangers that can come from excessively breathing in an unhealthy level of smoke.
The advisory, which included the Santa Clarita Valley as well as a handful of other surrounding communities, was the result of the Lake and Ranch Fires.
Residents who belong to at-risk groups, such as children, the elderly or those with underlying health conditions have been asked to safeguard their health and stay indoors.
“These precautions include avoiding unnecessary outdoor exposure and limiting physical exertion (whether indoor or outdoor), such as exercise,” said a press release from the Public Health Department. “Children and people who have air quality sensitive conditions, such as heart disease, asthma, and other chronic respiratory diseases, should follow these recommendations and stay indoors as much as possible even in areas where smoke, soot, or ash cannot be seen, or there is no smell of smoke.”
Wildfire smoke can also be damaging to those not at risk, according to officials, who said the smoke is a mixture of small particles, gasses and water vapor.
“Small particles are the primary health concern. These small particles can cause burning eyes, runny nose, scratchy throat, headaches, and illness (i.e., bronchitis),” the release said. “In people with sensitive conditions, they can cause difficulty breathing, wheezing, coughing, fatigue, and chest pain.”
People were told to be especially cautious, if they are indoors, of air conditioning units that draw air from the outside and to make sure windows and doors leading outside are firmly shut.
“If it is too hot during the day to keep the doors or windows closed and you do not have an air conditioning unit that re-circulates indoor air, consider going to an air-conditioned place, such as a cooling center, to stay cool and to protect yourself from harmful air,” officials said.
Public Health officials also issued an air quality advisory on Tuesday warning that air quality will be unhealthy for sensitive individuals in the SCV on Wednesday.
For current air quality maps and forecast, visit the AQMD website.