August 18, 2016
Today, the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department and the Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District issued an Air Quality Watch for Santa Barbara County to remain in effect until conditions change.
Smoke from the Rey Fire off Paradise Road may affect air quality in the Santa Ynez Valley and other parts of the county, depending on winds and weather conditions, and the containment of the fire. Levels of smoke and particles, and areas impacted, will vary.
If you see or smell smoke in the air, be cautious and use common sense to protect your and your family’s health. Everyone, especially people with heart or lung disease (including asthma), older adults, and children, should limit time spent outdoors and avoid outdoor exercise when high concentrations of smoke and particles are in the air.
If you have symptoms that may be related to exposure to smoke and soot, contact your health care provider. Symptoms include repeated coughing, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, wheezing, chest tightness or pain, palpitations, and nausea or unusual fatigue or lightheadedness.
In addition, if the fire continues and results in falling ash, residents are urged to avoid using leaf blowers or doing any activities that will stir ash and particles up into the air.
During hot weather, use your best judgment when it comes to keeping your home cool when there is smoke in your area. Keep windows and doors closed unless it is extremely hot. If you have an air conditioner, run it with the fresh air intake closed and the filter clean. If you have a whole house fan, turn it off unless it is extremely hot. If smoke is not present where you live, take the opportunity to air out your home.
For more information on smoke and our health, visit our www.OurAir.org and check www.twitter.com/OurAirAdvisory. For recorded advisory updates, call (805) 961-8802