Thursday, November 30, 2023

Air Deemed Unhealthy as Mendocino County Skies Darkened by Wildfire Smoke

The view from the Oak Ridge AlertCalifornia Fire Camera with a visible band of dark, drift smoke

Wildfires burning in Northern California and Southern Oregon have darkened skies from the Central Coast to the Central Valley. With Mendocino County smack dab in the smoke plume’s path, local areas are experiencing air quality deemed very unhealthy.

PurpleAir.com, an air quality monitoring website, indicates that the Mendocino County residents suffering the worst air quality are along the coast with an AQI index over 180 meaning all populations are vulnerable to of smoke-related health risks.

The smoke on the Mendocino Coast is so thick that while writing this article, firefighters responded to reports of a vegetation fire near Anchor Bay only to find that the reporting party had mistaken the drifting smoke for an actual active fire burning in the area.

In general, inland Mendocino County is getting a reprieve with their air quality index topping out at 160 in the northeast of Boonville meaning some members of the general public may experience health effects” while “members of sensitive groups may experience more serious health effects.”

The National Weather Service’s outlook does not bode well for an immediate reprieve from the smoke. Modeling indicates a similar pattern will be sustained till at least Friday.

For those concerned about the health effects of the smoke, take a look at the infographic below from the California Air Resources Control Board for strategies to combat the dangers:

[Infographic from the California Air Resources Control Board]
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Matt LaFever
Matt LaFeverhttps://mendofever.com/
I like to think of myself as a reporter for the Average Joe. Journalism has become a craft defined largely by city dwellers on America's coasts. It’s time to take it back. I have been an Emerald Triangle resident since 2006 and this is year ten in Mendocino County. Please, email me at matthewplafever@gmail.com if you know a story that needs to be told.

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