Air quality changes in Shasta County amid Siskiyou County wildfires

Sep 3, 2014 9:22 PM

The wildfires in Siskiyou County have sent enormous amounts of smoke into the air, impacting areas as far down as Anderson.
A heavy coat of haze has been hanging over the Redding area since early this morning, compromising air quality for people especially sensitive to wildfire conditions.

"I knew there was a fire near Oregon...but I was surprised to see the smoke...we could smell it from so far away."

Chelsea and her friend Kaitlyn were heading to school this morning, when they noticed smoke-covered mountains -- and an unusual scent.

" smelled like burnt toast."

Others touring the area left a bit disappointed.

"We were looking to forward to showing our visitors Shasta...we didn't see the mountain at all until we got north of Redding...we were up in Lassen and could barely see the valley because of the haze."

Air quality in Shasta County today is at a "moderate" rating.

"We were only above moderate for two hours early this morning."

That means air quality was considered unhealthy for people who are sensitive to smoke.

"It kind of burned my eyes a little bit...but it cleared away after the breeze came in."

Shasta County's Air Quality manager Ross Bell says the type of air pollution we are seeing in Shasta County from the wildfires is excessive for this time of year.

"In Shasta County, we measure both ozone and particulate matter as pollutants in the winter we typically see increased particulate similar to what we see in forest fires..."

Bell recommends anyone with sensitivities to stay indoors -- the National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning for Shasta County, which
will go into effect from eight p.m. tonight until five p.m. tomorrow.


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