Air quality improves from weekend low

Air quality improves from weekend low

Residents in the West San Gabriel Valley awoke on Saturday to find their homes and cars covered in ash. Airborne ash led to unhealthy air quality on the weekend due to the nearby Sand Fire in Santa Clarita. Air quality has improved as of Monday morning, according to the South Coast Air Quality Management.

Poor air quality impacted cities along the foothills. Pasadena and Glendale closed their public pools and cancelled soccer games, while firefighters in Monrovia closed the Hillside Wilderness Preserve on Sunday. It has remained closed.

However, Altadena braved the ash and smoke hanging in the air. The city decided not to cancel a Saturday evening concert at Farnsworth Park, and instead advised attendees to drink plenty of water before heading out.

The Los Angeles County Fire Department made it clear on Friday night that the fire posed no direct threat to the San Gabriel Valley, but that special precautions should be taken anyway.

“It is difficult to tell where ash or soot from a fire will go, or how winds will affect the level of dust particles in the air, so we ask all individuals to be aware of their immediate environment and to take actions to safeguard their health,” Los Angeles County Interim Health Officer Dr. Jeffrey Gunzenhauser said in the Pasadena Star-News.

The Sand Fire in Santa Clarita has spread to over 33,117 acres and remains at 10 percent containment. The fire has threatened thousands of structures, including homes and businesses, and has already claimed one life. High temperatures, believed to be responsible for the fire, hit 106 degrees Fahrenheit on Saturday, but that’s expected to cool to the high 80s by next week.

Check air quality in your area at aqmd.gov. Find the latest updates on the Sand Fire at firetracker.scpr.org.

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