News and Advisories
From time to time the District issues notices to the public on a variety of issues. Copies of those notices are stored on this page.
Advisory on waste oil shop heaters - waste oil shop heaters are illegal in California
Smoke and your health (USFS) - Information about the health impacts of smoke from Wildfires. Provided by the US Forest Service.
PUBLIC INFORMATION RELEASE
AIR QUALITY ADVISORY for Mendocino County
AIR QUALITY AND PUBLIC HEALTH
Friday–Wednesday, August 24-29, 2018
August 24, 2018 5:00 PM: The smoke and haze from the local Ranch Fire as well as regional fires to our north are currently impacting Mendocino and Lake Counties. Air monitors show particulate matter concentrations in the “Moderate” to “Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups” range for most of the County. Inland communities and surrounding areas may experience episodes of “ Very Unhealthy” air quality, depending on fire, wind and other meteorological conditions. These include Hopland, Ukiah, Calpella, Redwood Valley, Potter Valley, Willits, and Covelo.
Based on the meteorological forecast, smoke impacts are predicted to continue with smoke and haze peaking midday after the dissipation of the nocturnal inversion. Onshore flow is expected to transport smoke from fires to the north into Mendocino County so afternoon westerly winds are not expected to provide dependable relief. Please see the accompanying Public Health Advisory for recommendations of personal protection for sensitive groups, as well as, everyone during “Unhealthy”, or more severe, air quality conditions.
Mendocino County Air Quality Management District continuously monitors the air quality, reporting particulate matter and ozone concentrations hourly to our website: www.mendoair.org.
While visiting our website, look at the sidebar to the right, or scroll down if using a mobile device to the section titled "Air Quality for Mendocino". The air quality index ranges from ‘Good’ (green) to ‘Hazardous’, (dark purple). See example from website below:
Information regarding the most current air quality readings, an explanation of AQI numbers, and related information can be found on the District web site at:
To sign up for air quality notifications visit:
Air Quality Notifications
When the Mendocino Air Quality Management District advises that the air quality is“unhealthy” or "hazardous:"
A primary concern is that "high-risk groups" --people over 65, under 12, pregnant women, and those people with pre-existing lung disease (such as asthma, bronchitis, COPD) or heart problems-- are at particular risk from breathing this air and should take extra precautions. Leave the smkey area, if possible, or at least stay indoors and limit physical activity.
- • People with pre-existing illnesses should carefully adhere to their medical treatment plans and maintain at least a five-day supply of prescribed medications.
- • But clearly, everyone is a risk when the air quality is in the "unhealthy" or “hazardous” range. If it is not possible to leave the area where smoke is present, recommendations are to limit outdoor activity and unnecessary physical exertion.
- • Smoke from wildfires contains chemicals, gases, and fine particles that can harm health. The greatest hazard comes from breathing fine particles, which can reduce lung function, worsen asthma and other existing heart and lung conditions, and cause coughing, wheezing and difficulty breathing.
- • Wearing a protective mask may offer some protection. N-95 masks can reduce contact with some of the harmful particulate matter, but they also increase the work of breathing and they don’t keep the smoke out, so they are not terribly effective as a general protective measure. It is much better to avoid the smoky air, if possible.
o N95 masks are very useful during the cleanup phase when the ash is a big issue.
o If you would like N95 masks, they can be obtained for free at the libraries, the senior centers, and the shelters.
o If you have trouble locating masks and you would like them, contact us at Public Health.
o Dust masks (different from N95) are not protective and really should not be used.
- o N95 masks are very useful during the cleanup phase when the ash is a big issue.
- • If you have air conditioning, turn it to interior recirculation or turn off and use fans. This prevents the intake of the outside, smoky air. Avoid vacuuming (which stirs up the dust) or increasing smoke in the house (for example burning candles or incense, or smoking cigarettes).
- • There are no indications that any permanent problems such as cancer will develop due to short term exposure to smoke such as this. Since the air problems currently are almost exclusively from woodsmoke, there are no real industrial contaminants that might lead to other long-term problems.
- • If you, or someone with you, begins to experience significant symptoms, such as dizziness, shortness of breath, or chest discomfort, get them out of the smoke and have them rest. If symptoms continue, seek medical attention.
- • Getting enough rest and drinking plenty of fluids may be helpful.
The Redwood Complex Fire
Please contact the District with any questions.