Wildfires and poor air quality threaten Kern County

Local News

If you step outside today you’ll realize you can’t see very far because of smoke.

Kern County has an unhealthy air advisory right now.

Experts say the area is especially vulnerable on days like today.

“Unfortunately we are dealing with a double whammy in the valley,” says Heather Heinks, the Public Information Officer for Valley Air. “We’ve had some high wind in the last 36 or 48 hours in addition to the influx of wildfire smoke. And it almost doesn’t matter at which time which way the wind shifts. We are literally surrounded by wildfires.”

The Creek Wildfire covers over 160,000 acres and is zero percent contained.

The Kern County Fire Department says a this time last year there were less than 150,000 acres covered by wildfires in this part of the state.

Right now there are over two million, so this air quality may not budge any time soon.

Protect yourself from smoke by staying indoors when possible and ensuring proper ventilation in your home as well as vehicles.

Most importantly, follow your nose. The air is unhealthy according to health experts if you can see ash or smell smoke.

Kern County has a red flag warning active until 8pm tonight.

This means wind, low humidity and warm temperatures make it easy for a fire to break out.

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