Extreme heat and wildfire smoke expected Labor Day weekend

The Clovis Police Department along with many other law enforcement are assisting in the Creek Fire. The fire has burned over 212,000 acres in eastern Fresno and Madera Counties. (Courtesy of Clovis PD)

Extreme heat and wildfire smoke expected for Labor Day weekend according to the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District.

In a press release on Sept. 2, the air pollution district shared information of extreme heat affecting the Valley including recommendations by the district to reduce strains on the energy grid and to monitor the air quality levels.

The district said that under these extreme conditions, wildfire smoke could drive air quality up to unhealthy levels and can trigger asthma attacks to those who are vulnerable.

According to the district, those who should be monitoring their conditions closely are residents with respiratory conditions, including COVID-19, young children and the elderly. All of whom are especially susceptible to the health effects from this form of pollution.

“Valley residents are urged to protect their health during the coming days by staying indoors when possible, use central air conditioning to stay cool during the peak temperatures of the day, seek local cooling centers, and use in-home air filtration devices to reduce exposure to wildfire smoke when needed,” the air pollution district said.

With temperatures expected to be between 104 and 113 degrees between Sept. 2, and Sept. 9, the air pollution district offered three things to consider in the coming days.

Helping others: The district asks for residents to check on neighbors, particularly those who are elderly or mobility-challenged and remind them to keep hydrated during the excessive daytime heat.

Monitor Energy Use: In an effort to reduce a strain on the energy grid, the air pollution district asks that residents help reduce their energy use. With electricity demand spiking during heat waves from turning up thermostats, residents can help reduce the strain on the grid by turning off appliances that are not in use and pre-cooling their homes before the peak hours.

Avoid outdoor activity: Stay indoors in cool temperatures. Air quality information is available at myRAAN.com. Extreme heat coupled with outgoing wildfires can contribute to unhealthy air quality.

Sierra Vista Mall serves as a cooling center and is open to residents from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. from Monday through Saturday and from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. The mall is located at 1050 Shaw Avenue in Clovis.

City of Clovis Transit provides rides at no cost to and from the mall on Stageline’s Route 50 or through the use of Clovis’ Round Up service. More information on transit stops and schedules can be found on the City of Clovis’ website.

Adam Ricardo Solis has written for The Collegian as a staff reporter covering a variety of topics and transferred from Fresno City College to Fresno State where he majored in agriculture business. He is excited to incorporate what he has learned about the agriculture industry in the Central Valley into future articles while also covering a variety of other community matters.