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Why Smoke From Tehama County Fires is Making North State Skies So Cloudy

This story was produced Friday to explain why the air quality was expected to be so poor this weekend. All the smoke being generated from the Tehama County fires is adding to the problem.

Posted: Jun. 22, 2018 5:15 PM
Updated: Jun. 25, 2018 7:51 AM

UPDATE: 9:03 p.m. Saturday, June 23, 2018 - This story was produced Friday to explain why the air quality was expected to be so poor this weekend. All the smoke being generated from the Tehama County fires is adding to the problem.

As temperatures continue to rise this weekend, air-quality across the North State will become unhealthy.


With no active fires burning in the area the big concern with our air-quality in the North State is with the ozone levels.

While you can't physically see ozone, as concentrations of it build up, it can have a significant impact on your health.

The summer heat is doing a lot more than just making us uncomfortable.

It also has an effect on our air-quality and analysts say air-quality is going to be very bad as our temperatures heat up this weekend.

Lusk says, "With the expected higher temperatures and the heat that we have during this particular event, we expect more ozone formation. So those areas in the upper elevations may experience some higher concentrations."

And air quality data collected around Butte Co. shows a large part of our air pollutants flow in from Sacramento and the Bay Area.

Lusk says, "With the increased temperatures and with a strong southerly wind we're expecting, it will bring more pollution into our area."

Now gases tend to rise up in the air but the hot air in the upper levels traps the O-Zone at the surface and more specifically in areas of the foothills.

Lusk says, "Up in the upper atmosphere it's actually a good thing. It blocks the UV radiation from coming in from the Sun, but at lower levels it's an irritant and it can infect your respiratory system, it can cause you to have aches and pains, you're not going to be able to function, causes swelling in your lungs. So it actually affects your health."

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