This page provides information on air quality impacts from wildfire smoke in Sacramento County.
Last updated: August 20, 2018
Smoke continues to affect the Sacramento region due to various fires burning in northern California, plus smoke being transported from offshore caused by fires burning in the Pacific Northwest. If you see or smell smoke in your area you should stay indoors and avoid outdoor activities.
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: