As smoke from more than 700,000 acres of active wildfires billows through Santa Barbara, the air quality is getting worse and is predicted to continue over the next several days.
The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department issued an air quality warning on Wednesday.
As of Friday, the air from the entire coastal area from Santa Maria to Carpinteria reaching east to Cuyama was rated 101-150 as unhealthy for sensitive groups, according to the Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District.
The district’s Twitter account reporting air quality updates wrote, “If you see/smell smoke, stay inside, stay cool, keep indoor air clean.”
In attempts to avoid breathing in the polluted air, residents have reportedly been buying N95 masks.
According to an employee at Home Depot in Goleta, people have been consistently purchasing N95 masks. He said it’s “not out of the ordinary.”
Santa Barbara Mayor Cathy Murillo advised against the purchase of N95 masks, saying they need to be saved for essential workers such as farmworkers, according to KEYT-TV.
To monitor air quality updates within the county, visit ourair.org/todays-air-quality.
Much of the smoke is coming from Monterey County, where the River and Carmel fires are currently burning, Lyz Hoffman, the county Air Pollution Control District public information officer, told the News-Press Thursday.