Smoke From SoCal Fires Creating Unhealthy Conditions for Residents, Officials Say

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Smoke from several fires burning in Southern California has created unhealthy conditions for residents, officials said Friday.

A smoke advisory was issued by the South Coast Air Quality Management District through Saturday.

Smoke from the Saddleridge Fire in the San Fernando Valley and the Sandalwood Fire in the Calimesa area of Riverside County is creating poor air quality affecting residents as far as the Santa Clarita Valley, San Gabriel Mountains, Perris Valley, the San Jacinto Valley, San Gorgonio Pass and areas of San Bernardino County.

Smoke from the Saddleridge Fire, which has scorched 4,700 acres near Sylmar, Granada Hills and Porter Ranch, is blowing southwest to the ocean, officials said.

The blaze is affecting residents in other areas of the San Fernando Valley as well as the Topanga and Malibu areas.

Strong winds where the fire is burning will continue to blow from the north to northeast overnight Friday and into Saturday morning, officials said. Gusts may reach up to 30 mph during the advisory period.

In Riverside County, where the Sandalwood Fire has scorched 823 acres, smoke production from the blaze has had minimal Friday morning. However, strong Santa Ana winds from the east continue to blow through the area, with gusts up to 30 mph, officials said.

Winds speeds are expected to decrease in the area about 6 p.m. Friday and are expected to be lighter on Saturday.

If the fires continue to generate smoke Friday and into Saturday, smoke may impact the Inland Empire, officials said.

Health officials are urging residents in portions of northern Riverside County to limit outdoor activities because of smoke and ash generated by the Sandalwood, Reche and Wolf fires.

“Everyone worries about the flames, but smoke can impact you even if you’re miles away from the fire. There are some simple steps residents can take to protect themselves,” Dr. Cameron Kaiser, Riverside County's public health officer said in a news release.

Residents were also asked to keep windows and doors closed, run their air conditioner, avoid using a swamp cooler or whole-house fan to prevent bringing additional smoke inside and avoid using indoor or outdoor wood-burning appliances, including fireplaces.

Residents with respiratory or heart disease, older adults and children are urged to remain indoors.

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