Wildfire Smoke Information
Instructions for making a low cost DIY air filter for a room or house are HERE.
On August 27, 2021, smoke from a number of California wildfires entered the county. Due to weather conditions, it is expected that this smoke may remain for several days. In some areas of the county, smoke levels could reach hazardous levels.
Wildfire smoke – a complex mixture of air pollutants – is unhealthy to breathe and can be especially dangerous for children, the elderly, pregnant women and people with heart or respiratory conditions. These sensitive groups are advised to limit outdoor activities, especially when the Air Quality Index (AQI) reaches levels considered ‘Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups’ or above. Even healthy people may experience symptoms in smoky conditions or after exposure. Pets also can be affected by unhealthy air and should be brought indoors, if possible.
The AQI System
California uses the AQI system to evaluate and communicate air quality levels. It is color coded and uses numerical values to communicate the relative hazards posed by air quality.
For a description of what AQI levels are and how to understand them, go the EPA website HERE.
For local AQI levels, go to the EPA website at fire.airnow.gov. Click on a sensor for more information.
For local real-time AQI data, go to purpleair.com.These unofficial AQI values are raw data and differ slightly from the EPA but are still useful. Click on a sensor for more information. The legend in the lower left allows the user to change to realtime or time averaged data, and allows changes in other parameters.
For an AQI forecast from the EPA, go HERE. Click on the "forecast" button near the top of the page.
Monitoring Wildfire Smoke
Wildfire smoke can be difficult to predict because it is dependent on the weather. The following links may be useful in estimating smoke movements. Several of the sites, especially those using satellite data, require additional specialized knowledge to properly interpret.
To view current/forecasted wind/gust speed/direction, click HERE.
To view current smoke conditions on the real time PGE and Forest Service webcams, click HERE.
To view a current satellite loop of smoke movement, click HERE.
To view a map of current satellite fire detections, click HERE.
For smoke forecasts, air advisories, and a collection of smoke information go to californiasmokeinfo.blogspot.com.