Wildfire smoke and oppressive heat bring hazy, unhealthy conditions to Bakersfield

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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Smoke from wildfires sent air particulate matter soaring to unhealthy levels Wednesday and produced a grayish haze over parts of the city.

Some areas had air particulate matter in the “unhealthy” Air Quality Index range of 151 to 200, according to air quality data website AirNow. A “good” range is considered 0 to 50.

Image showing Bakersfield in the unhealthy red region for air particulate matter. Source: AirNow

Additionally, temperatures were expected to reach 107 degrees, and officials were urging residents to stay indoors if possible, especially those with existing respiratory conditions, the young and the elderly.

Multiple fire including the the Canyon Fire in Stanislaus County, the Hills Fire in Fresno County and the Lake Fire in Los Angeles County raised thick smoke drifting into other areas, Kern among them.

“Anyone experiencing poor air quality due to wildfire smoke should move indoors, to a filtered, air-conditioned environment with windows closed,” said a release from the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District. “The common cloth and paper masks individuals are wearing due to COVID-19 concerns may not protect them from wildfire smoke.”

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