Smoke from Northern California’s raging wildfires and even the dwindling Front Fire east of Santa Maria has carried to San Luis Obispo County and caused a significant drop in air quality, according to the San Luis Obispo County Air Pollution Control District.
Air quality in the San Luis Obispo and Nipomo regions is considered unhealthy for everyone, according to measurements taken by the county Air Pollution Control District.
The air quality for the majority of the county is “unhealthy for sensitive groups,” or those with health issues such as asthma or heart problems, APCD said.
“During this time in year with the heat and other factors such as increased levels of ozone in the air could have also elevated the problem,” APCD air quality specialist Meghan Field said.
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The APCD is urging SLO County residents to stay inside as much as they can, especially if they have persisting health issues such as asthma or heart problems.
“One thing we’re telling folks is that we do recommend that they reschedule any outdoor activities and check our website for more information on how to protect your health,” Field said.
SLO County can expect air quality to stay “fairly similar” through the weekend thanks to the source of the smoke coming primarily from northern wildfires as crews increase containment on the Front Fire, APCD air quality specialist Gary Arcemont said.
“There’s quite a bit of smoke all over the coast,” Arcemont said. “A lot of our measurements are from up north, and we can see that the contribution from the Front Fire is pretty insignificant.”
“Plumes of smoke can change so rapidly so it’s hard to say,” Arcemont added. “ Winds are pretty inconsistent, too, so air quality can get better then get worse again. It’s hard to predict.”