Its important residents take the appropriate measures to protect their health and lungs as wildfire smoke from the Camp Fire is entering Shasta County due to decreased northerly winds.

Officials from the Shasta County Air Quality Management District (AQMD) and Health and Human Services Agency encourage the public to check air quality levels when making daily plans. Conditions can change quickly and can also vary in different areas of the county based on elevation, topography and wind direction. These changing conditions will continue until the fires are under control, making the habit of checking air quality a practice that should be done frequently.

Based on current weather patterns, particulate matter levels within low lying areas on the eastern side of the Sacramento Valley and Anderson have reached UNHEALTHY for SENSITIVE GROUPS (AQI 101-150 range). Smoke is expected to be worse in the early morning hours, then improve in the afternoon as northerly winds materialize. This pattern is expected to remain in place for several days.

For other areas in Shasta County, particulate matter readings are predicted to be anywhere on the Air Quality Index from GOOD (AQI 0-50), MODERATE (AQI 51-100 range), UNHEALTHY for SENSITIVE GROUPS (AQI 101-150 range), and UNHEALTHY (AQI 151 to 200 range). All members of the public, especially those with respiratory or heart disease, the elderly, pregnant women, and children should remain alert. If necessary, reduce or avoid all outdoor exertion when wildfire smoke is present. When levels are not favorable, everyone else should limit prolonged exertion in areas of noticeable smoke accumulation. Individuals wishing to minimize their exposure should:

  • Limit exercise and outdoor activities.
  • Remain indoors with the windows and doors closed.
  • Turn on an air conditioner with a recirculation setting. (such as in a vehicle)

The Air Quality Management District operates one air quality monitor in Anderson that continuously monitors for fine particulate matter less than 2.5 microns in size (PM2.5).

The AQI readings from the fixed monitor are updated hourly and are available at the following website:  www.co.shasta.ca.us/index/drm_index/aq_index/aq_map.aspx

Additionally, the air district has deployed experimental particulate matter (smoke) sensors throughout Shasta County. These sensors are not official monitors but can be used to help gauge smoke levels in particular locations. When accessing this data, it is advisable to switch the Map Data Layer dialogue box in the lower left hand corner from “None” to “AQ and U”. This will apply a correction factor that will make the readings relate more closely to the official air quality data. They can be accessed at:

https://www.purpleair.com/map?&zoom=12&lat=40.574291292965746&lng=-122.36273060000002&clustersize=27&orderby=L&latr=0.2472149724742181&lngr=0.6591796875

For additional information and updates, you may visit the Air Quality Management District Wildfire Smoke Webpage at: https://www.co.shasta.ca.us/index/drm_index/aq_index/aq_wildfire.aspx or call 225-5674.

Additional safety tips can be found by going to www.shastahhsa.net.