Thomas Fire smoke causing poor air quality - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

Thomas Fire smoke causing poor air quality

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Photo courtesy: Santa Maria Fire Photo courtesy: Santa Maria Fire

The air quality index continues to show unhealthy air quality in Santa Barbara County.

Smoke and ash from the Thomas Fire may continue to affect local air quality for days. On Sunday, smoke could be seen in San Luis Obispo County as well. 

Smoke plumes may be visible and may or may not have an additional effect on ground-level air quality. The Air Quality Warning will remain in effect until conditions improve.

It's recommended that everyone:

• Stay indoors, with windows closed and indoor circulation only. Air conditioning is also an option if the outside intake is closed. Particles can build up indoors, so if you are feeling symptoms where you are, be prepared to relocate to an indoor location with better ventilation, or to leave the area.

• Avoid driving when possible and use "recycle" or re-circulate mode to avoid drawing smoky air into the car.

• Drink plenty of fluids to keep respiratory membranes moist.

• Avoid doing anything to stir up ash.

If you have symptoms that may be related to exposure to smoke and soot, contact your doctor. Symptoms include repeated coughing, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, wheezing, chest tightness or pain, palpitations, and nausea or unusual fatigue or lightheadedness.

N95 masks, when fitted properly, offer some limited protection from fine particles in smoke; they do not filter out all of the harmful gases. Dust masks and surgical masks are not effective.

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