The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department and the Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District today issued an Air Quality Watch for Northern Santa Barbara County to be in effect until the morning of Wednesday, March 19. The combination of extremely dry conditions and winds may result in elevated levels of particles in the northern part of the county, especially in the Santa Maria area. Areas affected and levels of particles will vary by time of day and local weather conditions. Winds are expected to be highest in the afternoon and evening of Monday March 17, with some periods of high winds the afternoon and evening of Tuesday March 18.
Schools and after-school programs in Northern Santa Barbara County are encouraged to assess local conditions and keep students indoors and limit outdoor activities if localized levels of dust and particles are high.
If you are in an area where there are high levels of dust in the air, be cautious and use common sense to protect your health and the health of those around you. Everyone, especially people with heart or lung disease (including asthma), older adults, and children, should limit time spent outdoors, and avoid outdoor exercise when high concentrations of dust and particles are in the air. If you have symptoms of lung or heart disease that may be related to exposure to particles, including repeated coughing, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, wheezing, chest tightness or pain, palpitations, nausea or unusual fatigue or lightheadedness, contact your health care provider. Everyone is encouraged to avoid dust-producing activities when winds are high.
For more information see http://www.OurAir.org, and for recorded advisory updates, call 805-961-8802.
An Air Quality Watch is issued when there is potential for poor air quality in some areas of the county.