An unusual weather pattern has significantly raised the pollution rate in the Central Valley, prompting the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District to issue No Burn days and request people restrict their driving to the essentials.
The higher moisture levels brought by recent rain followed by high temperatures tripled the level of fine particulates (PM2.5) in the Valley mid-week. The resulting unusually strong inversion layer is keeping temperatures high and trapping fine particulates in the air basin, resulting in unhealthy air quality throughout the Valley.
While abnormal weather conditions are the primary cause for the high pollution, any added pollution will make the current conditions even worse. The District urges residents to refrain from wood burning activities and reduce driving when possible.
“Because of abnormal weather conditions, we are experiencing unusually high pollution levels that are dangerous to public health. We are asking the public to refrain from burning and to also reduce driving,” said Seyed Sadredin, the Air District’s executive director and air pollution control officer. “These collective efforts to reduce pollution will help protect your health and the health of your loved ones.”
Fine-particulate pollution is extremely harmful to health and can cause respiratory and lung disease, heart attacks and even stroke. Air quality forecasters expect the current pattern to linger into the foreseeable future.
San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Merced counties are declared “No Burning Unless Registered.” Madera, Fresno, Kings, Tulare and the Valley portion of Kern counties have been declared “No Burn” days.