Smoke Impacts for Humboldt, Del Norte, and Trinity Counties

Press release from the North Coast Unified Air Quality Management District (NCUAQMD) and partners:

North Coast Unified Air Quality Management District (NCUAQMD) and partnersDepending on conditions, the fires with the potential to impact our area are: Natchez Fire (Del Norte County), Klondike/Taylor Fires (Southern Oregon), Hirz Fires (Shasta County), and the Ranch Fire-Mendocino Complex (Mendocino-Lake County).

Humboldt & Del Norte County – No Air Quality Advisories were issued today.

USFS Air Resource Advisors indicate that in Northern Humboldt and Del Norte, northeast winds aloft will continue to bring deteriorating air quality to the coastal areas and Klamath River canyon areas south of the fire today. Today will be slightly drier and warmer than yesterday, so the fire will be as active, if not more, active than yesterday. This pattern is likely to repeat tomorrow (Tuesday) although smoke production will likely decrease a bit. In Southern Humboldt, light winds will keep smoke in the area through today and likely into tomorrow. Hazy skies are expected to persist Tuesday with improving air quality midweek.

 Eureka – “Moderate” with periods of “USG”
 Crescent City – “Moderate”
 Gasquet – “Moderate” smoke overnight possible with haze and smoke aloft
 Klamath – “Moderate” morning/mid-day, with potential “USG” to “Unhealthy” range by evening
 Orleans – “Moderate” morning/mid-day, then “USG”
 Weitchpec – “Moderate” morning/mid-day, then “USG”
 Hoopa – “Moderate” morning/mid-day, then “USG”
 Willow Creek – “Moderate” mid-day/early afternoon, then “USG”
 Garberville & Southern Humboldt – “Moderate” depending on location

Trinity County – No Air Quality Advisories were issued today.
ARA on the Hirz Fire indicates that air quality will be degraded for communities near the fire again today, but elsewhere conditions will be much improved. Shifting winds will move smoke South into the Sacramento Valley in the morning and up north of the fire area in the afternoon. Eastern Trinity County should have low moderate
and similar conditions today and tomorrow.
 Weaverville – “Moderate”
 Lewiston – “Moderate”
 Trinity Center – “Moderate”
Air Quality Index (AQI) Actions to Protect Yourself
new air quality index
Particulate Matter (PM2.5) monitors are presently in Crescent City, Gasquet, Klamath, Weitchpec, Orleans,
Hoopa, Willow Creek, Eureka, Weaverville, and Garberville. Updates will be provided as conditions change.
For 24-hour Air Quality Advisory Information, call toll-free at 1-866-BURN-DAY (1-866-287-6329).
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.
Cleaner Air Centers currently available:
Humboldt County
 Hoopa Neighborhood Facility,11860 State Hwy 96, Hoopa; 8am to 5pm.
 Hoopa Health Association Senior Nutrition Center will be available to tribal seniors; 768 Loop Road,Hoopa; 8am to 5pm.
 Weitchpec Tribal Office, 23001 Highway 96, Weitchpec; 9am to 5pm.
 Morek Won Community Center, 390 McKinnon Hill Road, Weitchpec; Mon-Fri 9am to 3pm.
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.
If you have lung disease (including asthma) or heart disease, closely monitor your health and contact your doctor if you have symptoms that worsen.

Consider leaving the area until smoke conditions improve if you have repeated coughing, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, wheezing, chest tightness or pain, palpitations, nausea, unusual fatigue, lightheadedness.

For 24-hour Air Quality Advisory Information, call toll-free at 1-866-BURN-DAY (1-866-287-6329). For further information, visit the District’s website at www.ncuaqmd.org.

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4 comments

  • The Chamber of Commerce and the Lake County Air Quality district bear a certain amount of responsibility for the fires over there. The C/C uses the advertising of “Cleanest Air in California” to stimulate tourism and real estate ventures.
    Hazard Burning in Lake, in the winter months, is severely restricted; and if a “burn day” is announced, the outdoor permits actually cost $25 each.
    Here in Mendocino, I burn fire-breaks regularly in the winter months, often in pouring rain, for the dry-season safety of my home and the National Forest which I abut.
    In Lake, my daughter is often thwarted from “safety burning” by her County’s seemingly lack of understanding of its benefits, and the favoritism of the local government shown to the industries cited. While this relationship continues, Lake County will continue to burn out.
    (The Redwood Valley fire and the Santa Rosa fire both had similar situations within their jurisdictions.)

  • Our lungs need oxygen, but that is only a fraction of what we breathe. The fraction of carbon dioxide is growing: It just crossed 400 parts per million, and high-end estimates extrapolating from current trends suggest it will hit 1,000 ppm by 2100. At that concentration, compared to the air we breathe now, human cognitive ability declines by 20%

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