Air quality on the Central Coast has lessened due to a number of California wildfires like the Maria Fire burning in Ventura County.
The Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Management is partnering with Direct Relief International to pass out N-95 masks for community members in Goleta.
You can pick up N-95 masks at the following locations and times:
Goleta Library located at 500 N. Fairview Avenue
- Saturday 10:00 a.m. until 5:30 pm.
- Sunday 1:00 p.m. until 5 p.m.
Goleta Valley Community Center located at 5679 Hollister Avenue
- Saturday 8:00 a.m. until 3 p.m.
- Sunday 9:00 a.m. until 9 p.m.
The masks will be available on a first come, first serve basis.
An Air Quality Alert was issued by the Santa Barbara County Public Heath and the Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District (SB County APCD) starting November 1st through the weekend or until conditions improve.
The SB County APCD said in a tweet Saturday that Lompoc will have unhealthy air conditions for sensitive groups (orange area).
#MariaFire smoke forecast: Today, #airquality conditions expected to be Moderate/yellow overall for most areas of the county, w/ Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups/orange overall for the Lompoc area. Tomorrow, conditions should improve to Moderate/yellow overall for entire county pic.twitter.com/qtCqZMN9t0— SB County APCD (@OurAirSBC) November 2, 2019
Emergency officials say these masks can reduce smoke exposure outdoors by up to 95 percent, but only if used correctly.
The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department has provided the following directions for wearing the masks properly: "Masks must fit snugly around the nose and chin. For that reason they are not suitable for people with facial hair or children. People with heart and lung conditions should talk to their doctor before using an N-95 mask as the mask can restrict airflow. N-95 masks should not be used to extend time outdoors beyond what is necessary."
Symptoms of smoke exposure include, coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chest tightness or pain, nausea and unusual fatigue or lightheadedness.
Health officials advise people with heart and lung conditions, older adults, pregnant women and children to limit time spent outdoors.