National Weather Service says haze from California fires is here to stay
August 9, 2018
The haze likely isn't going anywhere.
The Mendocino Complex and Ferguson fires have filled the air with smoke that could linger for weeks. Higher winds starting tonight could provide short-term relief, though the haze will continue until the fires are out, said Eric Kurth, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.
"For major improvements, the fires are going to have to go out or at least be close to that," he added.
Joe Fish, deputy air pollution control officer with the Northern Sierra Air Quality Management District, said people vacationing in the foothills ask whether the conditions will end soon.
His answer: No one knows.
"It's a question of your personal tolerance," Fish said. "How much smoke are you willing to breathe?"
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According to Kurth, smoke builds during the day. The Delta breeze pushes it into the foothills each afternoon, and some of it flows farther east at night. The cycle then repeats.
Widespread rain, not expected for weeks, is needed to extinguish the fires, Kurth said.
The smoke has made conditions unhealthy for people in sensitive groups, like those with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Fish said.
Those in sensitive groups should stay indoors when possible, keep doors and windows closed and use the air-conditioner.