Wildfire Smoke Events
Wildfires can produce large amounts of particulate matter, ozone forming pollutants, and toxic air contaiments. If you smell smoke, you should take precautions.
Before an Impact Occurs
We recommend that residents, and in particular those that are sensitive to air pollution like the very young, elderly, or those with a medical condition that may be worsened by exposure, sign up for AQI forecasts and alerts here.
During an Impact
Current air quality conditions (displayed as AQI) can be accessed at either of the following websites:
The District has also deployed several low-cost sensors that, while not as accurate as the monitoring stations, are very reactive and contribute to our understanding of the impacts and duration of wildfire smoke. The sensor readings are available on the following webpages:
This Airnow website also provides wildfire locations and smoke plume information: https://fire.airnow.gov/
Information on wildfires can be found at the following websites:
During a wildfire smoke event conditions can change rapidly or continue for days at a time depending on meterological factors. Please visit Sutter County Public Health or Yuba County Public Health or the US EPA's website for more information on smoke and your health: https://www.airnow.gov/index.cfm?action=particle_health.index.
School Activity Recommendations
During a wildfire smoke event conditions may warrent reduced outdoor activities at schools, sporting events, and other events. Recommendations are available here.
Cleaning Up Debris
After a wildfire, residents may be at risk from clean up of debris and other issues. The FRAQMD recommends the following website provided by CalEPA: https://calepa.ca.gov/disaster/debris/
Worker Safety and Health in Wildfire Regions
The California Divsion of Occupational Safety and Health, or Cal/OSHA, has a regulation (section 5141.1) to protect employees exposed to wildfire smoke. The regulation requires the following:
- Identification of harmful exposures
- Training and instruction
- Control of harmful exposures
- Specific particulate sampling requirements if an employer opts to monitor employee exposure with a direct reading instrument
With exceptions, section 5141.1, Protection from Wildfire Smoke, applies to workplaces and operations where the current Air Quality Index (AQI) for PM2.5 particulate is 151 or greater ("unhealthy") and where the employer should reasonably anticipate that employees may be exposed to wildfire smoke. Reference section 5141.1 for details on the scope and application of this regulation.
With exceptions, Section 5141.1 requires employers to determine employee exposure to PM2.5 for worksites covered by this section, at the start of each shift and periodically thereafter as needed. Please visit https://www.dir.ca.gov/dosh/worker-health-and-safety-in-wildfire-regions.html for more information or contact Cal/OSHA.