California Wildfire Smoke Prompts Air Quality Advisory in 3 Southern Counties

An air quality advisory was issued in three southern California counties due to smoke from numerous wildfires in the northern part of the state.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD), issued the air quality advisory for the counties of Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino on Wednesday and it will remain in effect until Friday morning.

"Wildfires in northern and central California are producing heavy smoke that is being transported into the South Coast Air Basin and the Coachella Valley," South Coast AQMD, which is the air pollution control agency for these counties, said in a press release. "While the heaviest smoke will be present in the upper atmosphere across the region, the greatest impacts on surface air quality are expected in mountain areas, the Inland Empire, and the Coachella Valley."

According to the press release, until Friday, the concentration of particulate matter (PM2.5) may be increased and some parts of southern California will experience "unhealthy" Air Quality Index levels, due to the smoke.

The South Coast AQMD urged residents in these affected areas to use air conditioners or air purifiers instead of fans that bring in outside air, as well as telling them to avoid creating indoor air pollution by burning candles, incense or grilling.

"Breathing of fine particulate matter can lead to a wide variety of cardiovascular and respiratory health effects such as heart attacks, asthma aggravation, decreased lung function, coughing, or difficulty breathing and may lead to premature death in people with heart or lung disease," the press release said.

The potential for unhealthy air quality in the southern California counties is due to numerous wildfires in the northern part of the state.

According to the National Interagency Fire Center, there are currently 11 active wildfires burning across California. The active wildfires in the state have burned a total of 1,358,145 acres.

The Dixie Fire has burned over 742,000 acres across the counties of Butte, Plumas, Tehama, Lassen and Shasta. The Dixie Fire is currently 45 percent contained.

In addition to the Dixie Fire, northern California is also facing several other large wildfires, including the Caldor Fire, the Monument Fire and the McFarland Fire, all of which have burned more than 100,000 acres.

Earlier this week, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Satellite Twitter account shared a gif of the smoke from the Caldor Fire.

"@NOAA's #GOES17 gave a striking zoomed-in view of the plumes of thick smoke from the #CaldorFire in northern California yesterday," the tweet said.

UPDATE: @NOAA's #GOES17🛰️ gave a striking zoomed-in view of the plumes of thick smoke from the #CaldorFire in northern California yesterday. At the last report, the #wildfire had burned more than 117,000 acres and was just 9% contained. #CAwx

— NOAA Satellites - Public Affairs (@NOAASatellitePA) August 24, 2021

Newsweek reached out to South Coast AQMD for further comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.

Dixie Fire
An air quality advisory was issued in parts of southern California due to numerous wildfires in the north. Above, the Dixie Fire pushes through the Genesee Valley on August 21, 2021 in Genesee, California. Allison Dinner/Getty