SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. — The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department and the Santa  Barbara County Air Pollution Control District (APCD) have downgraded the Air Quality Alert to an Air  Quality Watch for Santa Barbara County, including the Channel Islands. Smoke and ash from the Alisal  Fire still have the potential to affect air quality, but any impacts are not expected to be as significant as  they were earlier this week This Watch will remain in effect until conditions improve. 

This continues to be a dynamic situation, and local air quality conditions can change quickly depending  on winds. All Santa Barbara County residents are encouraged to stay alert to local conditions by using  two resources in particular: 

• Check readings available on APCD’s website: o Our permanent monitoring stations are sophisticated devices that provide reliable  readings from regional monitors located throughout the county.  

• Check the EPA Fire & Smoke map:  

o This map shows data from our permanent monitoring stations, as well as from  temporary monitors and low-cost sensors. Using multiple data sets, this map allows you  to keep tabs on trends in the air quality conditions and see a bigger picture of  

information. It also displays a smoke plume to show what areas are being affected. 

We also encourage people to pay attention to conditions around them. Levels of smoke and particles,  and areas affected, 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 conditions, older  adults, pregnant women, and children, should limit time spent outdoors and avoid outdoor exercise  when high concentrations of smoke and particles are in the air.  

If air quality reaches unhealthy levels, and/or if you see or smell smoke, we recommend that  everyone: 

• Head indoors and remain indoors, as much as possible – the best protection against wildfire  smoke is to stay indoors as much as possible; 

• Avoid outdoor activity;  

• Close all windows and doors that lead outside to prevent bringing additional smoke inside;

• Create a “clean air room” to keep indoor air quality safe. Turn on your High-Efficiency  Particulate Air (HEPA) purifier if possible. For information on different ways to create a “clean air  room,” click here.  

• Avoid driving when possible and use “recycle” or re-circulate mode to avoid drawing smoky air  into the car;  

• Drink plenty of fluids to keep respiratory membranes moist; and, 

• If you are an essential worker and must work outside during wildfire smoke conditions, the use  of a properly fitted N-95 mask provides protection.  

If ash fall occurs, see tips on APCD’s website for safe clean-up of ash:  

If you have symptoms that may be related to exposure to smoke and soot, contact your doctor.  Symptoms include repeated coughing, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, wheezing, chest  tightness or pain, palpitations, and nausea or unusual fatigue or lightheadedness.


Please note this login is to submit events or press releases. Use this page here to login for your Independent subscription

Not a member? Sign up here.