Smoke Blankets the Region Causing Unhealthy Conditions

Smoke around fire helicopters

Helitack crews fighting northern California fires are waiting at Gasquet’s Ward Field. Because of the low visibility caused by smoke, the entire fleet is stuck on the base. [Photo by Mark Harris]

Press release from North Coast Unified Air Quality Management District:

Smoke dispersion conditions will remain poor for today and possibly tomorrow, until the existing strong high pressure begins to weaken. Strong inversions will likely still form in canyons and basins, and air quality will be poor near and downwind of active fires. There will be some improvement beginning today (Sunday), as a S-SE flow is forecast to bring in moist unstable air. Smoke dispersion conditions will improve a bit each day beginning Tuesday through Thursday, as the moist unstable air is forecast to move over northern CA.

In addition to smoke from inland fires, the smoke from the Chetco Bar Fire in southern Oregon continues to heavily affect communities south of the border from Smith River, Crescent City, Klamath, and south along the immediate coast.

In Humboldt County: An Air Quality Advisory has been issued for the communities in the Klamath River Drainage (Orleans and Weitchpec) as they are forecast to be in the Very Unhealthy range with periods of Hazardous conditions; and smoke levels in the communities of Hoopa, Willow Creek, and Salyer are forecast to be Very Unhealthy with periods of Hazardous conditions. Although the Humboldt Bay Air Basin (from Trinidad to Scotia) did see some higher smoke levels overnight (Very Unhealthy), the forecast beginning today is for slight improvement where levels should be primarily in the Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups to the Unhealthy range. Garberville and areas in southern Humboldt continue to be forecast in the Moderate range.

In Del Norte County: An Air Quality Advisory has been issued for Smith River and surrounding areas as they are forecast to be in the Very Unhealthy to Hazardous range; Crescent City to Klamath the smoke is forecast to be in the Unhealthy to Very Unhealthy range with periods of Hazardous conditions in Klamath; and inland areas east of Crescent City (Gasquet) can expect Unhealthy with periods of Very Unhealthy conditions.

In Trinity County: An Air Quality Advisory has been issued for Weaverville and areas adjacent (Lewiston, Junction City, Big Bar, Del Loma) are forecast to be in the Unhealthy to Very Unhealthy range with periods of Hazardous conditions, primarily due to the Helena Fire; Air quality for areas outside of the Weaverville area can expect smoke levels of Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups with periods of Unhealthy depending on proximity to the wildfires.

Clean Air Shelters in Humboldt County:
Weitchpec Tribal Office, Highway 96, Weitchpec. Hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Hoopa Neighborhood Facility, Hoopa Tribal Office, Highway 96, Hoopa, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.,
M-F and this Holiday Weekend.


Clean Air Shelters in Trinity County:

Veterans Memorial Hall, 101 Memorial Dr, Weaverville. Hours are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
American Red Cross Evacuation Shelter, First Baptist Church, 1261 Main St., Weaverville.
Hayfork Community Center, 154 Tule Creek Road, Hayfork. Hours are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Particulate Matter (PM2.5) monitors are presently in Smith River, Crescent City, Klamath, Gasquet, Orleans, Weitchpec, Hoopa, Willow Creek, Weaverville, Eureka, Scotia, and Garberville.

Subsequent Wildfire Smoke Public Service Announcements will be issued as conditions change. Fire information can be found at http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/ or at www.calfire.ca.gov. Current weather information can be found at www.wrh.noaa.gov.

Health Information for Smoke Impacts
Concentrations of smoke may vary depending upon location, weather, and distance from the fire. Smoke from wildfires and structure fires contain harmful chemicals that can affect your health. Smoke can cause eye and throat irritation, coughing, and difficulty breathing. People who are at greatest risk of experiencing symptoms due to smoke include: those with respiratory disease (such as asthma), those with heart disease, young children, and older adults.

These sensitive populations should stay indoors and avoid prolonged activity. All others should limit prolonged or heavy activity and time spent outdoors. Even healthy adults can be affected by smoke. Seek medical help if you have symptoms that worsen or become severe.

If you can see, taste, or feel smoke, contact your local health department and/or primary healthcare provider. This is especially important if you have health concerns, are elderly, are pregnant, or have a child in your care.

Follow these general precautions to protect your health during a smoke event:
• Minimize or stop outdoor activities, especially exercise
• Stay indoors with windows and doors closed as much as possible
• Do not run fans that bring smoky outdoor air inside – examples include swamp
coolers, whole-house fans, and fresh air ventilation systems
• Run your air-conditioner only if it does not bring smoke in from the outdoors. Change
the standard air conditioner filter to a medium or high efficiency filter. If available, use
the “re-circulate” or “recycle” setting on the unit
• Do not smoke, fry food, or do other things that will create indoor air pollution

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8 comments

  • The smoke is intense out riverside acres.and a 102 degrees.

    • Ya….Carlotta is a whole lot worse today. It cleared up pretty good yesterday afternoon into evening, but woke up to bad smoke.

  • The smoke is a lot thicker today. I can not see Monument mountain ridge today, I could yesterday…

  • Better than yesterday,smokes about the same in Carlotta.

  • All this smoke is dumb people need to use thar stupid head when they camping and smoke cigeretts at least half of all this hell could of been prevented if some dunb stupid people use thar dumb head

  • All this smoke is dumb people need to use thar stupid head when they camping and smoke cigeretts at least half of all this hell could of been prevented if some dunb stupid people use thar dumb head and them stupid helicopters could be helping have some balls thats what they get paid the big bucks right dumb bastards think it’s all gravey all the time bull shit do your job and put these fires out makeing just as money siting on the ground as if thay Wher in the air

    • Wildfires are a part of nature.being upset that there’s too much smoke is same as being upset too much water during a hurricane.”hurry up & wait” is the name of game in these types of situations sometimes.yes it’s irritating for everyone & I’m sure the pilots are bored

  • Second hand smoke is not good for your lungs........

    Did a five mile walk which took about an hour. I wore a small particle dust mask. After the walk I noticed a number of tiny black flecks on the outside of the mask. Of course the mask does not filter out the gases. And my recently washed car had a dusting of ash on it. If you don’t need to go outside stay inside with the windows and doors closed. If you need to drive for a while run your fan on inside circulation. And hope a wind comes up this afternoon and blows the ash into the ocean.

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