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Poor air quality prompts health warning, university closure
air quality graph

Smoke from the Camp Fire in Butte County prompted the Stanislaus County Public Health Agency to issue a health hazard warning starting on Wednesday. The exceeding poor air quality was also the cause of closures of the Turlock and Stockton campuses of California State University, Stanislaus and the cancellation of all outdoor activities at Turlock Unified School District sites.

Smoke from wildfires produces particulate matter which can trigger asthma attacks, aggravate chronic heart and lung diseases and increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District monitors the Fine Particulate Matter in the air. When the Fine Particulate Matter is greater than 55 μg/m3 it is considered “Unhealthy.” On Wednesday, the Fine Particulate Matter reached 146 μg/m3, Level 5 — Very Unhealthy.  

The health caution will remain in place and smoke impacts are likely, until the fires are extinguished.

The Stanislaus County Public Health Agency recommended that residents take the following precautions:

• Minimize outdoor activities

• Stay indoors with windows and doors closed as much as possible

• Do not run fans that bring smoky outdoor air inside

• Run your air-conditioner or heat only if it does not bring smoke in from the outdoors

• Consider leaving the area until smoke conditions improve if you experience symptoms related to smoke exposure

• Know current air quality by checking at

The health agency recommends contacting a health care provider if you experience the following symptoms that do not improve after moving indoors or into a safe air quality environment:

• Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

• Wheezing

• Chest tightness or pain

• Palpitations

• Nausea or unusual fatigue

• Lightheadedness and/or feeling faint

As always, if you or someone you know is experiencing an emergency, call 9-1-1.

Students of both Stanislaus State and Turlock Unified School District should monitor their respective school websites and social media pages for updates on activity closures.