Air Quality Expected to Worsen Through the Week

Image of street. There are no cars but a layer of ash on the asphalt.

A layer of ash fell on the streets in Natomas overnight. There are several wildfires burning in Northern California following thunderstorms earlier this week. / Photo courtesy Lisa Pray

THE NATOMAS BUZZ | @natomasbuzz

Image of weather app showing gray skies and unhealthy air quality conditions.Local officials are warning area residents to stay indoors due to unhealthy air quality conditions.

Sacramento councilmember Eric Guerra and Air Pollution Control Officer Dr. Alberto Ayala in a joint press conference discussed air quality concerns in Sacramento County related to smoke from wildfires burning in Northern California.

The message: Smoke particulates in the air resulting from the fires can be unhealthy to breathe.

“Smoke from these fires will most likely affect the greater Sacramento area through Friday and maybe longer,” Guerra said.

Today in Sacramento, the air quality index is 113 or unhealthy for sensitive groups and is expected to get worse before it gets better, said Ayala.

“Pollution from these wildfires is blanketing the region,” Ayala explained. “…We have seen conditions throughout the day have gotten worse in respect to these fires.”

During a time when respiratory health is a top priority due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Guerra and Ayala urged local residents to take precautions and minimize outdoor activity as much as possible. Children, the elderly and those with existing respiratory issues should remain indoors until air quality improves, they said.

Air pollution levels are about half the level from Camp Fire in November 2018, but expected to climb to a level that is unhealthy for all those living in the region, Ayala said.

“The masks we are wearing for COVID-19 will not help with this particulate matter,” Ayala added. “We need to continue to protect against COVID-19, but what we’re facing with the wildfires is a different concern.”

For information on Sacramento-area air quality, visit

A layer of ash covers cars, plants and virtually anything else outdoors. / Photo


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