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Despite smoky skies, essential workers continue to do their jobs outdoors

Posted at 6:18 PM, Aug 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-21 00:42:06-04

Even with all the smoke in the air, some people are still having to work outdoors.

Farmworkers and construction workers are just a few of the many jobs that continue amid heat and air quality concerns.

"Yeah, it's the trade I picked and the heat and the weather comes with it, you know," said foreman Perry Minetti.

With fires burning throughout the state, smoke is impacting the Central Coast.

Gerardo Rodriguez says providing for his family is one of the main reasons he continues to work regardless of the situation.

"I have a family, I have a daughter to raise and that's my motivation to wake up every day and work. The weather conditions sometimes are bad but there's no one else who will do my job so I have to come," Rodriguez said.

Construction company owner John Will says he understands the recent conditions can affect his workers and says safety is a top priority.

"We are very conscious of what they are doing every day and during the heatwave. A couple of weeks ago we elected to pull off on a Paso Robles project because the temps got in the 100 to 109. You know, I don't think anyone has to work in that high temps," Will said.

"The weather conditions right now are not favorable for us. Being exposed and in this type of situation and weather but the work has to be done because if we don't do it, no one else will," Rodriguez said.

Santa Barbara County and San Luis Obispo County have issued air quality alerts and suggest people who have difficulty breathing stay indoors.