Warning: Unhealthy & Hazardous Air Affecting San Joaquin Valley Says Air District

Photo: KMJ/Liz Kern


FRESNO, CA (KMJ) – Warnings coming out of the Valley Air District for residents – stay inside or risk your health.

Wildfire smoke is generating hazardous air quality all up and down the West Coast, and Jamie Holt from the Valley Air District said until they get the Creek Fire out, the air will remain bad here all over the West including in the Central Valley.

The Creek Fire, located in the mountain and foothill regions of Fresno and Madera Counties, is producing smoke that is infiltrating into the San Joaquin Valley.

Holt was speaking on KMJ on Monday, during the Broeske and Musson Show, and recommended all activities be conducted indoors, as much as possible.

She advised using air filters or running a fan inside your house with a filter attached to the back or running the AC intermittently to clean the air.

Holt says particulate matter is from the smoke only – and not ozone or dust.

Those particles enter the body and increase the potential for asthma attacks, heart attack & stroke.

PM pollution can trigger asthma attacks, aggravate chronic bronchitis, and increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. Individuals with heart or lung disease should follow their doctors’ advice for dealing with episodes of PM exposure. Those with existing respiratory conditions, including COVID-19, young children and the elderly, are especially susceptible to the health effects from this form of pollution. Anyone experiencing poor air quality due to wildfire smoke should move indoors, to a filtered, air-conditioned environment with windows closed. The common cloth and paper masks individuals are wearing due to COVID-19 concerns may not protect them from wildfire smoke. – Valley Air District


The District’s Real-time Air Advisory Network (RAAN) tracks air quality at any Valley location by visiting myRAAN.com. District air monitoring stations are designed to detect microscopic PM 2.5 particles that exist in smoke. However, larger particles, such as ash, may not be detected.

If you smell smoke or see falling ash in your immediate vicinity, consider air quality “unhealthy” (RAAN Level 4 or higher) even if RAAN displays lower level of pollution.

You can also check the District’s wildfire page at www.valleyair.org/wildfires for information about any current and recently past wildfires affecting the Valley.

Follow air quality conditions by downloading the free “Valley Air” app on their mobile device.


Click to listen to the report by KMJ’s Liz Kern: