Due to fires burning in Northern California, the Sacramento region may experience smoke impacts until those fires are extinguished. Smoke is unhealthy to breathe. If you smell smoke, you should go indoors or remove yourself from the smoky area.
In November 2018, Sacramento County experienced significant smoke impacts during the Camp Fire. Click here for a preliminary analysis of the highest observed daily maximum 24-hour average Air Quality Index (AQI) for particulate matter 2.5 (PM2.5).
Click to view image showing PM2.5 concentrations at Sacramento
County monitoring sites from November 14 through 11:00 a.m. on November 15. It's followed by a satellite image from 10:00 a.m. on November 15 showing air pollution levels across California and into Nevada.
Click here to visit Cal Fire
Social media is a great way to stay informed during a wildfire smoke episode. Here are some resources to follow.
During a wildfire smoke episode, the National Weather Service typically includes information on smoke in its robust daily forecast discussions. These forecasts incorporate wind direction and strength in addition to other atmospheric conditions that impact smoke transport.
Sac Metro Air District's daily air quality forecast also takes smoke modeling into consideration during episodes. This includes forecasting PM 2.5 levels during periods of concern in addition to factoring in wildfire smoke's impact on ground-level ozone formation.
Wildfire smoke includes particulate matter (PM). PM can be
directly emitted, as with fires, or it can form in the atmosphere
from reactions of gases such as nitrogen oxides. PM from wildfire smoke can cause serious health impacts.
The size of particles is directly linked to their potential
for causing health problems. Small particles (known as PM 2.5 or fine
particulate matter) pose the greatest problems because they bypass the body’s
natural defenses and can get deep into your lungs and potentially your
bloodstream. Exposure to such particles can affect both your lungs and your
Sac Metro Air District monitors PM 2.5 concentrations at several sites throughout Sacramento County.
Long-term exposure to particulate pollution can result in
significant health problems including:
Short-term exposure to particulate pollution can:
Even if you are healthy, you may experience temporary
symptoms, such as: