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Air Quality Hazard Issued for Santa Barbara County

By Aaron Briner
Dec 06, 2017 at 07:55 PM

 SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department and the Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District issued an Air Quality Hazard for Santa Barbara County. Smoke and ash from the Thomas Fire burning in Ventura County is affecting local air quality, and conditions may continue over the next several days.

Levels of smoke and particles, and areas impacted, will vary and conditions could change quickly. 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 disease (including asthma), older adults, and children, should limit time spent outdoors and avoid outdoor exercise when high concentrations of smoke and particles are in the air.

Breathing masks are available at the information kiosk located in the 1400 block of East Valley Rd. in the Village, by Union Bank.

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

When wildfire smoke is impacting your neighborhood, consider purchasing an air-filtering device, which can help remove ash, soot, and dust.

  • Select a device with a High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter.
  • Keep the device in one room that could serve as a “clean air room” — the packaging on most devices notes the suitable room size.

Keep windows closed and avoid using your fireplace. If you are sensitive to air pollution, and air quality is poor in your area to the extent that you are unable to keep indoor air clean, consider relocating to an area where the air is cleaner.

The air is very dry due to low humidity.

  • Stay hydrated – drink water. Avoid caffeinated and alcoholic beverages
  • Watch for signs of dehydration:
    • Headache
    • Lethargy
    • Dizziness
    • Dry mouth and lips
    • Excessive thirst
Posted in Press Releases.
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