County issues air quality health advisory

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A health caution was also issued Valley-wide on this by the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District as smoke from the wildfires blazing around California drifted into Merced and surrounding areas.

The air pollution from the North Bay wildfires is as worst as it's ever been in the Bay Area. "PM2.5 is so small, about 1/30 the width of a human hair, that it can penetrate deep into the lungs".

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Additionally, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District has issued a Spare the Air alert, due to risky levels of particulate matter that can trigger heart and asthma attacks, or exacerbate other respiratory conditions.

As of Tuesday morning 15 people had been killed in the fires and officials said that number was likely to rise. Outside of the active fire areas, air quality will be variable and unpredictable. The blazes are sending a cloud of ash and smoke over the bay, threatening residents with polluted air.

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"Please curtail wood burning, lawn mowing and leaf blowing, driving, and BBQing", says a tweet care of San Francisco-based Spare the Air, an environmental agency.

Residents were advised not to venture for any outdoor activity, including exercise, if they encountered smoke in their immediate area. Windows and doors should be kept closed. It also predicted "unhealthy" for Thursday as well. Young children, seniors and people with respiratory problems are "especially susceptible" to the health effects of pollutants from smoke. Anyone exposed to poor air quality or wildfire smoke should move inside to an air-conditioned environment.

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