Air Quality Advisory
The Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District is issuing an Air Quality Advisory to notify the public of continued unhealthful air quality in Alpine, Mono and Inyo Counties with localized areas of hazardous air quality conditions due to smoke from the numerous fires throughout California.
Current particular matter (PM) levels are at or exceeding the state standards for PM10. At these levels the air quality is rated UNHEALTHY for Sensitive Groups. Short-term levels can be considerably higher and can be unhealthy for all people. These conditions are expected to continue until the fires are extinguished.
Smoke from wildfires and structure fires contain significant quantities of irritating chemicals. Residents may experience symptoms during and after being exposed to smoke, including eye irritation, throat irritation and coughing. People with existing heart and lung disease, including asthma, may experience heightened symptoms. They should monitor their health and consult with their health care provider should their symptoms worsen. Very sensitive individuals may consider leaving the area until air quality conditions improve. Even healthy people may experience some of these symptoms in smoky conditions. Seek medical help if you experience symptoms that worsen or become severe.
Recommendations for Minimizing Smoke Exposure
- Stay indoors with windows and doors closed; run air-conditioner on “recirculate” setting. Minimize the use of swamp coolers. If it becomes too warm indoors, individuals may consider leaving the area to seek alternative shelter.
- When driving make sure to drive with the windows rolled up and the air conditioner on “recirculate.”
- Minimize or stop outdoor activities, especially exercise, during smoky conditions.
- People who must spend time outdoors should drink plenty of fluids.
Additionally, pet owners should consider bringing their pets indoors out of the unhealthy air conditions, if possible. This is especially important for older pets.
Stay tuned to local radio and TV for emergency announcements about air quality.
Real-time air quality data is available here.
Issued by: Ted Schade, Air Pollution Control Officer; June 25, 2008
Since smoke levels are ever-changing, the following index is useful in judging the levels near you on a continual basis.
Good (can see 10 miles or more) - No cautionary statements.
Moderate (can see 5-10 miles) - Unusually sensitive people should consider reducing prolonged or heavy exertion.
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups (can see 3-5 miles) - People with heart or lung disease, older adults, and children should reduce prolonged or heavy exertion.
Unhealthy (can see 1½-3 miles) - People with heart or lung disease, older adults, and children should avoid prolonged or heavy exertion. Everyone else should reduce prolonged or heavy exertion.
Very Unhealthy (can see 1-1½ mile) - People with heart or lung disease, older adults, and children should avoid all physical activity outdoors. Everyone else should avoid prolonged or heavy exertion.
Hazardous (can see 1 mile or less) - Everyone should avoid all physical activity outdoors; people with heart or lung disease, older adults, and children should remain indoors and keep activity levels low.
In addition to using the visual guide, residents are encouraged to protect themselves and to seek medical treatment, if experiencing uncontrolled coughing, wheezing, or choking, or if breathing difficulty does not subside indoors.