What's that smell?

Parts of the Valley are seeing and smelling smoke from the Monticello Fire, burning in Yolo County near the southeast shore of Lake Berryessa, according to the National Weather Service in Sacramento.

Winds are pushing smoke, ash and particulate matter from the wildfire into the Sacramento area, creating poor air quality.

Fireworks and fires from Friday night are also adding to the problem.

MORE: Fireworks create poor air quality

For the region, the air quality is unhealthy for sensitive groups. A good rule to go by is: If you can smell the smoke, then you are being affected by it. That means the particulate matter is entering your lungs which can cause sickness.

To avoid exposure, AirNow.gov suggests:

  • Try to stay indoors: Make sure your windows and doors are closed, unless it is extremely hot outside
  • Run the air conditioner: Keep the fresh air intake closed and make sure your filter is clean. If you do not an air conditioner, keeping the doors and windows shut may be more harmful to your health; in these cases, find alternative shelter
  • Keep particle levels inside low: Don't burn anything - wood fireplaces, gas logs, gas stoves and candles. Don't vacuum either because it stirs up particles already in your home.

If you have asthma or are sensitive to the air quality, keep you medication on hand. If your symptoms worsen, call your doctor.

The ozone levels are also affecting the region's air quality. According to AirNow.gov, ozone levels in Sacramento County are being effected by:

"An upper-level ridge of high pressure will strengthen over California, producing sunny skies and very warm temperatures that will increase ozone formation in the Sacramento region. In addition, smoke from the Monticello fire in southwestern Yolo County will enhance ozone formation, especially in the western portion of the Sacramento Valley. However, light to moderate onshore winds will help to disperse pollutants. As a result, ozone levels will be high-Moderate in Sacramento County and Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups in the foothills."


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