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Fires and Hot Temperatures Worsen Air Quality in Northern California



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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, August 19, 2013

Smoke from the American Fire in Placer County has been a concern for people sensitive to pollution. 

Sam Longmire with the Northern Sierra Air Quality Management District says the smoke affects children, seniors, heart patients and athletes the most. 

“People don’t really think of it, but athletes –if they’re out breathing heavily- they’re breathing, processing so much air through their lungs at times that they’re considered sensitive individuals.” - Sam Longmire, Northern Sierra Air Quality Management District

Longmire says the thunderstorms will likely help any area that receives rain, but if dry lightning sparks more fires, the storms could do as much harm as good.

Containment of the American Fire stood at 53 percent late Monday.

The Placer County Public Health Officer and Placer County Air Pollution Control District re-issued a joint countywide Air Quality Advisory Monday afternoon.

The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District issued an Air Alert for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. The alert is effective in San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced, Madera, Fresno, Kings, Tulare and the Valley portion of Kern counties.

The alert is for high ozone levels. According to  the district, if the San Joaquin Valley ozone levels are higher than the one-hour federal ozone standard, a $29 million federal penalty could be forthcoming.

When there is a penalty handed down, drivers pay for it with an extra $12 DMV registration fee.  Valley businesses also must pay a fee.

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