Wildfire Air Quality: California Conditions Continue to Worsen

As we discussed in last week’s blog post, wildfires in California, Oregon and Washington have made this one of the worst years on record for air quality in the Western United States. While changes in wind and rain conditions have alleviated problems in some areas farther north, California continues to experience extremely poor air conditions. Here’s what you need to know about wildfire air quality in California as smoke continues to create hazardous conditions for people living in affected areas.


Where Do the California Wildfires Currently Stand?


For a brief period of time, wildfire activity in California appeared to be slowly decreasing. As in other parts of the West Coast, more favorable weather had given firefighters an opportunity to begin controlling the blazes more effectively. Now, the several large fires burning throughout the state are beginning to pick up steam again, as reported by the San Fransisco Chronicle. This has led to a similar increase in smoke, causing air quality to worsen once again.


How Bad Is California’s Air Quality?


Far from having minimal effects, the amount of smoke in the air in many parts of California at this point is actively hazardous to human health. The amount of smoke Californians have been exposed to this fire season is nearly unprecedented, reflecting the very real dangers that these fires can pose to large populations. Across the state, people have suffered from symptoms ranging from sore throats to chest pain, most of which can be directly tied to smoke inhalation.


In many parts of the state, air quality ratings have reached levels considered to be unhealthy for the general population. While lower smoke levels can be unhealthy for people suffering from underlying respiratory of cardiac conditions, the current air quality in much of California is dangerous even to otherwise healthy individuals. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to predict the long-term health consequences of this level of wildfire smoke exposure across large populations.


What Californians Need to Expect Next


Although the current round of fires will eventually be brought under control, they represent an increasingly dramatic cycle of seasonal wildfires fueled by climate change. As a result, residents of California and other Western states need to consider the possibility that such poor air quality could become a yearly occurrence.


Needless to say, long-term fire management and climate solutions are required to head off this growing problem. However, individuals also need to take what steps they can to protect themselves from what could become an increasingly large annual health risk. While this is especially important for people with existing health conditions, the last few wildfire seasons have also made it clear that even the healthiest individuals need to protect themselves from the effects of wildfire smoke.


One of the ways in which you can prepare for future periods of low air quality is to buy an air purifier for wildfires. These air purifiers offer filtration that can remove both the gases and fine particles that make up wildfire smoke. While an air purifier obviously can’t clean up the outside air, it can keep the air inside your home clean and safe to breathe. You may also want to consider buying an air purifier to use at work, since smoke-filled air may also get into your office.


Have questions about how you can use air purifiers to help protect yourself from the effects of wildfire smoke? We’re here to help! Feel free to send us your questions, and we’ll be happy to provide you with answers and personalized product recommendations based on your needs.