Strong, dry northerly winds blew a combination of dust and wildfire smoke into the Sacramento region, resulting in unhealthy levels of PM10 coarse particulate matter and PM2.5 fine particulate matter on Sep. 8. The spike in PM10 concentrations were recorded at monitors in the region. This combination of particulate matter caused the thick, brown haze that persisted throughout the day and this morning at ground-level. Although the continuous PM10 monitor in Sacramento County reflected extremely high levels of pollution, others monitoring PM2.5 did not show unhealthy levels at some points during the episode. Since the strong north winds have calmed, PM10 levels are forecasted to drop gradually in the days to come.
However, smoke will continue to impact Sacramento County from the North Complex fires burning in Plumas County. Smoke most likely will hover high above in the morning hours but will mix down towards ground level in the afternoon and evenings. Therefore, air quality monitoring readings may reflect moderate levels of PM2.5 in the morning and elevated levels later in the day.
Due to variable and changing wind conditions, the Sacramento region will continue to experience on-and-off smoke impacts while wildfires are burning throughout Northern California. Sacramento County is expected to reach PM2.5 levels ranging from Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups (orange) to Unhealthy (red) or higher categories on the Air Quality Index the next few days.
For wildfire smoke information visit the Sac Metro Air District website at AirQuality.org
or download the Sacramento Region Air Quality app for real-time readings. Additional real-time fire/smoke map information can be found at fire.airnow.gov