Air Quality Management District

Carla Hass

(530) 621-4609

Air quality in El Dorado County is currently being impacted by smoke from wildfires burning in the State. 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 can produce smoke that causes health problems, particularly for children, older people and those with heart disease or respiratory issues. Johnston advises residents to limit outdoor activity if they see or smell smoke. Specific precautions include the following:

  • Keep windows and doors closed as much as possible.
  • Set the air conditioner in your home and car to re-circulating mode.
  • Drink lots of water to keep airways moist.
  • Healthy people should delay strenuous outdoor exercise until smoke has cleared.
  • Children and older people 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 can vary greatly and change quickly because of terrain, wind direction and weather. Individuals can assess air quality in their area 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 wildfire smoke, please visit AQMD’s wildfire page: The wildfire page has several links to sites with updates on local fires and smoky conditions. For general air quality information, please visit