'gold' fires in lassen county have been pumping out a lot of smoke into the atmosphere..
But how does this affect you?
Action news now meteorologist bryan ramsey is here to answer that.
I'm outside on the roof of our studios in chico and many of you are probably wondering if smoke is a concern in your area, given the large wildfires we are seeing burning today.
I'm in the valley in chico and if you look up into the sky, you might notice its not completely blue.
Its kind of a grey, white, blue haze and what you are seeing is actuallly smoke thousands of feet up in the air from the hog and gold fires in lassen county.
But don't worry.
This smoke is too high up to affect you if you are anywhere in the sacramento valley and even the foothills.
The smoke is originating from very high up in the mountains and is carried by winds, which are mostly carrying the smoke east and south, not west.
What smoke does make it to our area is too high up to affect our air quality.
If you are in the mountains, you will notice worse air quality at night and in the morning than in the day.
This is because an inversion layer forms where cold air gets trapped on the ground and warm air stays aloft, since the sun no longer heats the surface.
This inversion layer acts like a barrier, keeping the smoke trapped on the ground, preventing it from mixing higher into the atmosphere.
This is not a problem during the day when the smoke is allowed to mix, but can still be an issue if you are close enough to the fire.
I have a map of the current air quality in california and you can notice the valley and foothills have good to moderate air quality but it gets very unhealthy in areas near the fires and is even unhealthy for sensitive groups in the tahoe and reno areas since that is where winds are carrying the majority of the smoke.
If you are in a smoky area, the butte county air quality district has some advice for you.
"if you have to be outside for a long period of time then don't exert yourself if you don't have to.
If you are out jogging or exercising or doing really hard work, your rate of breathing goes up, so the amount of smoke you are inhaling also goes up.
So if you have to be outside, just try to do low energy work."
Smoke can exacerbate existing conditions such as copd, bronchitis, asthma and even coronavirus.
Prolonged exposure can cause itchy, watery eyes, shortness of breathe, coughing and wheezing.
Make sure if you are outside in smoke you wear an m95 mask, not a surgical mask or bandana.
Live in chico, i'm meteorologist bryan ramsey, action news now, coverage you can count on.
And if you want to smokeproof your home..
You can buy air filters with an 'm- v-r-e' rating of at least 13 or more... and check to make sure your home is well sealed from outside air coming in.
## investigators are still working
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