Air Quality Bad This Week, But Not Like Last Year

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(Sacramento, CA)
Thursday, July 16, 2009

Remember this?
Capital Public Radio news clip from June, 2008 (reporter Kelley Weiss): “Smoke from the more than one thousand northern California wildfires is still blanketing the valley.”
In June of 2008, those fires combined with triple-digit heat to produce several days of terrible air quality.  Christina Ragsdale is with the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District.
Ragsdale: “We had a number of days that everyone remembers not fondly that were very difficult for people that had breathing problems, and difficult for healthy people as well.”
But this year, Ragsdale says, the air around Sacramento is much better.
Ragsdale: “Number one, because we have not had the smoke in the air that we had from those terrible fires, which is wonderful.  And also, it’s been a relatively cool summer – we’ve only had a few Spare the Air days to date.”
Still, officials hope people will drive less anyway this week.  That’s because the heat wave is increasing ozone levels.   Officials also suggest restricting any outside exercise to the morning.