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Sonoma County health advisory issued due to wildfire smoke

Smoke from wildfires across Northern California impacts air quality
Smoke from wildfires across Northern California impacts air quality 04:45

The Sonoma County health officer issued an advisory on Tuesday, urging residents to take measures to protect their health as surrounding wildfires impact local air quality.

The Sonoma Valley and Napa regions have been most impacted by poor air quality, Department of Health Services spokesperson Sheri Cardo said. County officials suspect the poor air quality is due to smoke from Colusa County's Site Fire streaming toward Sonoma County, Cardo added.

In some areas between Sonoma and Santa Rosa, the air quality index has jumped to more than 160, according to PurpleAir air quality map. Farther south and west, in such cities as Rohnert Park and Petaluma, air quality indices have remained satisfactory and below 50, according to the map.

Residents can also check air pollution levels and smoke in their neighborhood by visiting the EPA's Fire and Smoke Map.  

Sonoma County residents were advised to shelter in place, as per the health officer's advisory. To avoid poor air quality indoors, the health officer suggested closing doors and windows, keeping indoor air cool and set car and home air conditioning units to only recirculate air and not transmit air from outside.

The advisory instructed residents to limit prolong exertion outdoors -- especially older adults, pregnant individuals, children and people with heart disease or respiratory illness.

It also advised residents to hydrate often and avoid activities which may exacerbate air pollution, such as burning wood, mowing the lawn, blowing leaves, driving, barbecuing and smoking.

The health officer noted some parts of Sonoma County is not as impacted by poor air quality as others, but that the air quality across the county may fluctuate as local conditions affecting the air change.

A local emergency was also declared on Monday in Sonoma County in response to the Point Fire which had burned nearly 1,200 acres northwest of Healdsburg. As of 6:40 a.m. on Tuesday, the wildfire was 40% contained and remained at 1,207 acres, according to a Cal Fire social media posting. Cardo said officials suspect smoke from the Point Fire is not as much to blame for the reduced air quality as the Site Fire in Colusa County.

As of 6:09 a.m., the Site Fire, southeast of Stonyford, was at 10,000 acres, according to a Cal Fire social media posting.

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