Mendocino County

Air Quality Management District
Wildfire Smoke Protection  Air Advisory


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What is an Inversion?

Simply put an inversion is when a layer of warm air traps a layer of cold air underneath it.

In Mendocino County we have frequent (80-90% of the time) inversions. These inversions are strongest on winter nights when it is not raining and there is little or no wind. Inversions trap pollutants at or near ground level and do not allow them to disperse. Inversions usually break one to three hours after sunrise. However, in extreme cases inversions do not break during the day and can last for several weeks.  Inversions lift when either the wind blows strong enough to mix the air layers or the sun heats the cold air below enough to cause the layers to mix on their own.

In Mendocino County an inversion looks like this -

(1/31/05 7:45 AM, Airport Temp 34F)

Below is a picture from NASA showing an inversion in northern India - India 

Open burning is prohibited on days when strong inversions are likely and, the District encourages people to limit the use of woodstoves and fireplaces during those times.

Please contact the District with any questions.

Burn Day Status

For todays burn day status please call 707-463-4391. .

Burn Permit Application> Click Here
SMP Online Burn Request> Click Here

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Air Quality for Mendocino

Current Air Quality Index for county:
Observed on --/--/-- at --:00



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News / Advisories

Burn Suspension Lifted. - Burn only on permissive burn days with a valid burn permit..

Air Quality Advisory For Mendocino County covering smoke impacts from wildfires in Northern California (month of September 2021). Click Here for More Information

AB 617 Community Air Protection Incentive Projects - AB 617 Community Air Protection Incentives to Reduce Emissions. Click Here for More Information

Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust - provides about $423 million for California to mitigate the excess nitrogen oxide emissions caused by VW's use of illegal emissions testing defeat devices in certain VW diesel vehicles.. Click Here for More Information

Air District Relaxes Portable Diesel Engine Enforcement - ARB has determined the standards for DPM may not be feasible. Click Here for More Information

The District Mission

  The mission of the Mendocino County Air Quality Management District is to protect and manage air quality, an essential public resource upon which the health of the community depends. 

  Mendocino County Air Quality Management District is one of 35 local Air Districts in California.

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