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Santa Barbara health officials issue Air Quality Warning due to Cave Fire

Posted at 11:08 AM, Nov 26, 2019

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (KSBY) — Santa Barbara health officials have issued an Air Quality Warning due to the raging Cave Fire that broke out Monday afternoon.

The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department and the Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District say that smoke and ash from the 4,100-acre blaze is affecting local air quality, and that "conditions may continue over the next several days."

"Levels of smoke and particles, and areas impacted, will vary and conditions could change quickly," officials said.

The Santa Barbara County Fire Department said the Cave Fire has grown to 4,100 acres and is 0 percent contained. Around 2,400 structures are threatened but none have burned, fire officials say.

"Take caution and use common sense to protect your and your family’s health. Everyone, especially people with heart or lung disease (including asthma), older adults, pregnant women, and children, should avoid time spent outdoors when high concentrations of smoke and particles are in the air. If you must go outside, limit your time outdoors and wear a properly fitted N95 mask. When driving, use the recirculate option on the vehicle’s air conditioner," officials said.

Health officials are recommending those impacted by the smoke to close their doors and windows, avoid using fireplaces and use an air-filtering device, which can help remove ash, soot, and dust.


  • Select a device with a High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter.
  • Keep the device in one room that could serve as a “clean air room” — the packaging on most devices notes the suitable room size.

Confirmed N95 Distribution Sites:
Available Noon-5pm at all locations

1. Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinic – Isla Vista Clinic: 970 Embarcadero Del Mar, Isla Vista CA 93117
2. Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinic – Goleta Clinic: 5580 Calle Real, Goleta CA 93111
3. Goleta City Hall – 130 Cremona Drive Goleta CA 93117
4. Goleta Community Center – 5679 Hollister Ave, Goleta CA 93117
5. Direct Relief HQ Lobby – 6100 Wallace Becknell Road, Santa Barbara CA 93117

If you have symptoms that may be related to exposure to smoke, soot and ash, contact your health care provider. Symptoms include repeated coughing, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, wheezing, chest tightness or pain, palpitations, and nausea or unusual fatigue or lightheadedness. If you are sensitive to air pollution, and air quality is poor in your area to the extent that you are unable to keep indoor air clean, consider relocating to an area where the air is cleaner. Stay aware of local air quality conditions and visit