Air Quality Management District

Dave Johnston

(530) 621-7501

Air quality in El Dorado County is currently being impacted by smoke from the Ferguson fire, burning west of Yosemite, and other fires in the State. The fire is not directly threatening El Dorado County, but County health officials are reminding residents to take precautions should wildfire smoke impact the areas in which they live, work and recreate. According to Air Pollution Control Officer Dave Johnston, wildfires in the County and region can produce smoke that causes health problems, particularly for children, older adults and those with heart disease or respiratory issues.

Johnston advises residents to limit outdoor activity if they see or smell smoke. Additional suggested precautions include the following:

  • Keep windows and doors closed as much as possible.
  • Set the air conditioners in your home and car to re-circulating mode.
  • Drink lots of water to keep airways moist.
  • Delay strenuous outdoor exercise until smoke has cleared.
  • Children and older adults should avoid outdoor activity, especially prolonged outdoor exercise.
  • People with heart disease, respiratory or chronic health issues should stay indoors.
  • Minimize the creation of indoor particulate matter (avoid cigarette smoking, grilling, vacuuming, burning candles and incense)

Smoke conditions change quickly and vary greatly in El Dorado County because of the terrain, wind direction and weather. Individuals can assess air quality in their areas by using the Smoke Visibility Index as follows:

  • Face away from the sun and look for targets at known distances (in miles). The visibility range is the distance at which high-contrast objects disappear.
  • After estimating visibility in miles, use the following visibility index to assess air quality and determine appropriate precautions.

For more information about air quality issues in El Dorado County, please visit AQMD’s website at AQMD’s wildfire page has several links to sites with updates on local fires and smoky conditions.

For up to date information on the Ferguson fire, visit