Nevada County air quality to suffer through Thursday | TheUnion.com

Nevada County air quality to suffer through Thursday

Hazy conditions are expected to persist in Nevada County. It's unknown for how long they'll remain.

The haze could linger over Nevada County.

The Carr and Ferguson fires have clouded skies in the Sierra, leading the Northern Sierra Air Quality Management District to extend its advisory through Thursday.

"With winds expected to pick up (today) and Wednesday we expect some clearing of smoke, but increased winds also increase fire behavior," said Sam Longmire, air pollution control specialist with the district, in an email.

The smoke carries fine particulate matter, which can cause difficulty breathing. Higher ozone levels also bring negative effects.

"Ozone is an irritant as well," Longmire said. "That makes it doubly bad."

The air quality for Grass Valley on Monday was unhealthy for everyone. The ozone levels made conditions unhealthy for sensitive people, like children and older adults.

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Longmire's district advises people to stay indoors and keep doors and windows closed when possible. Those in affected areas should drink water and avoid smoke from sources like cigarettes or barbecues.

The Carr and Ferguson fires have clouded skies in the Sierra, conditions the Sacramento Valley has mostly avoided, Longmire said.

The Carr Fire, near Redding, started July 23. It's burned almost 100,000 acres and was 20 percent contained on Monday.

The Ferguson Fire, in Mariposa County, began July 13. It's burned some 57,000 acres and is 30 percent contained, Cal Fire states.

"The Mendocino Complex is currently producing a massive quantity of smoke, which adds to the particulate matter burden in the northern part of the State," Longmire said.

The cloudy sky led Hospitality House to open its doors at noon Monday, four hours earlier than normal.

Isaias Acosta, the shelter's program manager, said staff uses warnings about air quality when determining when to open early.

Hospitality House was opened to all, including non-guests, though they had to meet the shelter's requirements.

It's unknown if the shelter will open its doors early today, Acosta said.

To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email ariquelmy@theunion.com or call 530-477-4239.