Cedar Fire Smoke Advisory 8/24/2016
Smoke from the Cedar Fire west of Kernville area is impacting communities in the Kern River Valley and Ridgecrest area. The entire Kern River Valley has been affected and severe effects have been noted in Ridgecrest, and hazy conditions are being experienced in the Tehachapi area. Therefore, all communities in the Eastern Kern Air Pollution Control District (District) jurisdiction (including: Lake Isabella, Ridgecrest, Boron, Rosamond, Mojave, and Tehachapi) are included in this notification.
The District is recommending that children, older individuals, and those with pre-existing heart and lung problems should avoid outdoor activity, whenever they can smell or see smoke in their immediate area. Effects can be as mild as a headache; eye, nose or throat irritation; or as serious as triggered asthma episodes or stresses on weakened cardiovascular systems. Adverse health impacts may also be seen in normally healthy individuals, if they are engaged in strenuous outdoor activities during periods of exposure to ground-level smoke.
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Cedar Fire Information
The Cedar Fire is located in the Greenhorn Mountains of the Sequoia National Forest, 6 miles west of Kernville. The fire is approximately 9,500 acres, burning in a northeast direction, and being driven by steep topography and fueled by high tree mortality due to drought and beetle infestation.
The fire is being managed under Unified Command with the U.S. Forest Service and Kern County Fire. Currently 935 personnel are assigned. Fire suppression objectives include protecting the communities of Alta Sierra, Slick Rock and Shirley Meadows.
Kern County Sheriff’s Department personnel are implementing the evacuations and road closures. Further road closures may be implemented.
RECOMMENDED EVACUATIONS IN PLACE: Shirley Meadows, Alta Sierra and Slick Rock. An evacuation center has been established at Saint Judes Catholic Church, 86 Nellie Dent Road, Wofford Heights.
ROAD CLOSURES: Hwy 155 at the forest boundary near Wofford Heights and at Pascoe Road near Glennville. Forest Highway 90 (#24S15) is closed from Highway 155 to Portugese Pass. Old State Road is closed at its junction with Shadow Mountain Road, in Wofford Heights.
Current Fire Cal Fire Info (Click Here)
InciWeb Incident Information (Click Here)
American Red Cross Safe and Well (Click Here)
Asbestos Requirements for Homes Erskine Fire
In accordance with the National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAPs) 40 CFR 61 Subpart M (Asbestos), all persons engaged in renovation or demolition activities are required to notify the District in writing 10-days prior to starting work. Generally the notification requires an asbestos survey and a $175 fee.
However, to minimize the impact to those effected by the Erskine Fire, the District (with the support of District Board of Directors) has made a decision to waive the $175 demolition fee. Additionally, in accordance with the State’s Emergency Declaration, the 10-day wait-period has been waived; therefore, renovations and demolitions can commence once District has been notified.
Please note, these special requirements are in effect for persons affected by the Erskine Fire only (in the Kern River Valley area). These special requirements shall be in effect until December 31, 2016.
Asbestos renovation and demolition information can be found by clicking here. Also, care should be taken to minimize fugitive dust emissions. Please contact District Office at 661-862-5250 if you have any questions.
How Smoke Can Effect Your Health
Smoke is made up of a complex mixture of gases and fine particles produced when wood and other organic matter burns. The biggest health threat from smoke comes from fine particles. These microscopic particles can get into your eyes and respiratory system, where they can cause health problems such as burning eyes, runny nose, and illnesses such as bronchitis. Fine particles also can aggravate chronic heart and lung diseases – and even are linked to premature deaths in people with these conditions.
People with asthma, heart disease, lung disease, older adults, and children are at greater risk of being affected by smoke. If you are healthy, you're usually not at a major risk from smoke but it's still a good idea to avoid breathing smoke if you can help it. It's important to limit your exposure to smoke, especially if you may be susceptible.
How to tell if smoke is affecting you:
Smoke can irritate the eyes and airways, causing coughing, a scratchy throat, irritated sinuses, headaches, stinging eyes or a runny nose. If you have heart or lung disease, smoke might make your symptoms worse. People with heart disease might experience chest pain, palpitations, shortness of breath, or fatigue. People with lung disease may not be able to breathe as deeply or as vigorously as usual, and they may experience symptoms such as coughing, phlegm, chest discomfort, wheezing and shortness of breath. When smoke levels are high enough, even healthy people may experience some of these symptoms.
Watch local news and weather stations, pay attention to health warning and air quality reports, you can also use the EPA's Air Quality Index (AQI). Use common sense; if it looks smoky outside, it's probably not a good time to mow the lawn, go for a run, or let children play outside.
If your advised to stay indoors take steps to keep indoor air as clean as possible. Keep windows and doors closed. Run an air conditioner if needed but make the fresh air intake is closed and the filter is clean. Do not use a swamp cooler as it will pull in lots of smoke from outside. If your house becomes to hot to be comfortable seek alternative shelter. If it is cool outside try to avoid anything that produces heat from burning such as a fireplace, gas logs, or a gas stove.
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June Issue of Desert Breeze Available
The June 2016 issue of the District's quarterly news letter the "Desert Breeze" is now available. Click Here to download a copy. Hard copies are mailed to subscribers and made available at the District office. Future issues can be accessed on this website on the Desert Breeze page.
Commercial Solar Plant Permitting Requirements
The District has determined commercial solar power plants generate fugitive dust emissions (PM10) in Eastern Kern County. Therefore, in accordance with Rule 201 (Permits Required) and 210.1 (New and Modified Stationary Source Review, NSR), the District is requiring each commercial solar facility obtain a District Air permit.
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2016 Board Meeting Schedule
Board Meetings will begin at 2 p.m. Board Meetings are normally held the second Thursday of every odd month (1, 3, 5, 7, 9, and 11) except July, which is usually held on the last Thursday. Click here for the 2016 Board Meeting Schedule.