With concern that smoke and ash from the Gibraltar Fire could affect downwind areas, an Air Quality Watch has been issued for the Montecito area “as long as conditions warrant.” The county’s Public Health department advises that if you see or smell smoke, use common sense to protect yourself and your family. For those who are older, for children, and for those with heart or lung disease or asthma, the advisory warns to limit the time spent outdoors and to avoid exercise when smoke and particles of ash seem to be plentiful.
Symptoms that could occur include coughing, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, wheezing, tightness of the chest or chest pain, palpitations, nausea, or unusual fatigue or lightheadedness. The advisory goes on to note that particles of ash and soot can be stirred up by the wind and leaf blowers. More information can be found here and a recorded advisory update can be heard by calling (805) 961-8802.