Local air pollution officials are cautioning residents in San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Merced counties of smoke from a hay fire in the area of Lathrop and Manteca, at Interstate 5 and Highway 120. Particulate matter (PM) emissions from the fire are currently impacting the counties of San Joaquin and Stanislaus, with the potential to reach Merced County. The Valley Air District warns residents to reduce their exposure to the smoke by remaining indoors in affected areas. Smoke impacts are expected to continue until the fire is extinguished.
PM can trigger asthma attacks, aggravate chronic bronchitis, and increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. Individuals with heart or lung disease should follow their doctors’ advice for dealing with episodes of PM exposure. Those with existing respiratory conditions, including COVID-19, young children and the elderly, are especially susceptible to the health effects from this form of pollution.
Residents can use the District’s Real-time Air Advisory Network (RAAN) to track air quality at any Valley location by visiting myRAAN.com. District air monitoring stations are designed to detect microscopic PM 2.5 particles that exist in smoke. In addition, anyone can follow air quality conditions by downloading the free “Valley Air” app on their mobile device.