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Soberanes Fire: Air Quality in Some Communities "Very Unhealthy"


The Soberanes Fire has left much of the Monterey Bay Area under a peachy haze. In many communities, it’s simply unhealthy to be outside.

Kris Carlson,Owner and Headmaster of Universal Martial Arts in Carmel Valley, canceled classes Tuesday evening due to the declining air quality.

“It has been very smoky,” Carlson says. “It has a very thick barbeque-pit-fire smell.”

One of Carlson’s students, William Chevalier, works for the Monterey Bay Air Resources District.

“We’re getting lots of calls from the public right now,” says Chevalier.

On MBARD’s website, air quality is rated from “good” to “hazardous”. On Tuesday, Carmel Valley was rated as “very unhealthy”.

In these conditions, MBARD suggests staying indoors and lowering physical activity, adding healthy people may experience throat irritation, even a cough. Those with asthma, or who have lung and heart disease, may be affected even more.

MBARD is closely monitoring the air quality situation, deploying their portable particulate air monitoring devices around the fire. The devices measure how much smoke is in the air, taking a reading every hour.

“Carmel Valley, King City and Hollister are starting to see a lot more smoke right now,” Chevalier said Tuesday.

Air quality ratings vary from day to day due to changing wind and fire conditions. The latest information is available here. There you can also find more information about health impacts and advisories.


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