Environment

Don’t use your fireplace Monday or Tuesday, SLO County tells residents

Smoke from the Thomas Fire filled the air over the city of San Luis Obispo on Sunday, December, 10, 2017.
Smoke from the Thomas Fire filled the air over the city of San Luis Obispo on Sunday, December, 10, 2017. ldickinson@thetribunenews.com

The San Luis Obispo County Air Pollution Control District is asking residents to avoid lighting fires Monday and Tuesday, as part of its concern about local air quality due to the Thomas Fire.

Due to the continued smoke impacts from the wildfire burning in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, the district extended its voluntary “Don’t Light Tonight” advisory for Dec. 12-18 through Tuesday, according to a news release.

The APCD asked residents to refrain from burning wood or using their wood stoves or fireplaces, unless they are being used as a primary source of heat.

According to the release, weather conditions and elevated use of fireplaces and wood stoves further exacerbates the levels of fine particulate matter in the air and traps wood smoke closer to the ground and the air people breathe. With the already smoky conditions due to the wildfires in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, fireplace use is not recommended.

Fine particulates from wood smoke can cause breathing problems for many residents. If you smell smoke or see ash fall, officials recommend you take precautions and use common sense to reduce your exposure to smoke.

When it is obvious that smoke is in the air, all adults and children should:

▪  Avoid strenuous outdoor activity

▪  Remain indoors as much as possible

▪  Set any heating/air conditioning/ventilation systems to recirculate

These precautions are especially important for children, older adults and those with existing respiratory illness and heart conditions, the district says.

Kaytlyn Leslie: 805-781-7928, @kaytyleslie

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