If you've been smelling smoke in the morning, you're not crazy.
It means you've been breathing smoke.
And now you may need to add unhealthy levels of dust to the valley's respiratory recipe.
According to two news releases from the San Joaquin Valley Air Polution Control District, potential for blowing dust as a result of gusty winds — and smoke from the Kincade Fire in Sonoma County — have prompted local air pollution officials to issue not one, but two health cautionary statements for the San Joaquin Valley.
The northern and western parts of the valley are likely to see the most impacts from the winds beginning Saturday night and continuing through Sunday, according to air officials. The strong winds will likely cause localized areas of blowing dust where soils are exceptionally dry — creating unhealthy concentrations of particulate matter 10 microns and smaller, known as PM10.
To complicate the problem, impacts from the smoke, officials warn, are likely to continue until the fire is extinguished, and may be more noticeable during the night and early morning hours.
Smoke from wildfires, along with dust picked up by strong winds, produce particulate matter, which can trigger asthma attacks, aggravate chronic heart and lung diseases, and increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. Where conditions warrant, people with heart or lung disease should follow their doctors’ advice for dealing with episodes of particulate exposure.
Additionally, older adults and children should avoid prolonged exposure or heavy exertion, depending on their local conditions.
For more information, visit www.valleyair.org or call the Bakersfield office at 392-5500.