As massive wildfires continue to burn throughout California, displacing tens of thousands of residents and destroying hundreds of structures, the smoke from these fires are beginning to apply a choke hold on Northern California communities. In fact, multiple NorCal communities are experiencing extremely hazardous air quality and are being advised to stay indoors until the smoky conditions clear.
As of Thursday evening, the area surrounding Yuba City is currently experiencing the worst air quality in the entire United States, posting an Air Quality Index (AQI) score of 345, which is considered hazardous. Its extreme air quality is due to multiple fires west of the region, including the LNU Lightning Complex Fire and Butte Lightning Complex Fire.
Communities south of Yuba City are also seeing extreme conditions, with Stockton posting an AQI score of 261 and Modesto at 223. Poor air conditions are also being seen in the areas surrounding Sacramento, with Roseville posting a 205 AQI with ash raining down on the area.
Day 2 of major smoke impact on the valley. #SCULightningComplex. #CAwx #FireWx #CaliforniaFires @NWSBayArea @NWSSacramento @NWSHanford @RobMayeda @spann @ReedTimmerAccu @COStormChasers @KevinMussoABC30 pic.twitter.com/HF37fIX6He— Nikkole Cooper (@niknakaroni) August 21, 2020
Other affected areas include the North Bay near the LNU Complex Fire, the I-5 corridor up through Tehama County and the Sierra Nevada mountains, especially the Lake Tahoe region. Here is a comprehensive map of the air conditions throughout NorCal:
The AQI scores of many NorCal communities are some of the worst in the world. As you can see in the map below, NorCal is currently experiencing some of the worst air on the planet, including historically polluted cities like Kuwait City and Chengdu, China:
In order to avoid the dangerous air, it’s recommended to stay inside and avoid prolonged outdoors activities. To see the AQI of your area, go to https://www.airnow.gov/.