SAN LUIS OBISPO — The San Luis Obispo (SLO) County Air Pollution Control District and Public Health Department are working in partnership to assess the air quality in order to identify any potential health impacts and to inform the community about safeguarding individual health. At this time, several wildfires outside of San Luis Obispo County are continuing to impact air quality throughout San Luis Obispo County.
Expect skies to be hazy and fine particulate (PM2.5) concentrations to be higher than normal. Changing winds make it difficult to predict which areas of the county may be most affected and conditions are rapidly changing. However, until the fires are put out, smoke will likely be intermittently present in our region.
A helpful resource officials are recommending to the public, in addition to SLOCleanAir.org website and AirAware text notifications is the EPA’s Fire and Smoke Map that shows monitoring locations and the smoke plume. This map can be found at Fire.AirNow.Gov.
If you smell smoke or see ash fall:
Air District officials recommend that if you smell smoke or see ash, take precautions, and use common sense to reduce your exposure to smoke. All adults and children should:
- Head indoors and remain indoors, if possible
- Avoid strenuous outdoor activity
- Close all windows and doors that lead outside to prevent bringing additional smoke inside
These precautions are especially important for sensitive groups, including children, older adults, and people with existing respiratory illness and heart conditions, as they are particularly vulnerable to the health effects of poor air quality. Families with small children should be aware that even if adults in the household have no symptoms, children may experience symptoms due to their smaller body mass and developing lungs. If smoke increases, healthy people could be affected as well. If you experience a cough, shortness of breath, wheezing, exhaustion, light-headedness or chest pain, stop any outdoor activity immediately and seek medical attention. More information can be found at slocleanair.org/air-quality/wildfire.