Santa Clarita Valley residents woke up to another red sun Thursday morning, as smoke and ash from the fires raging nearby continued to fill the valley.
Following an early-year Santa Ana wind event, the Bobcat Fire, burning in the Angeles National Forest southeast of the SCV, more than doubled, growing 12,434 acres to a total of 23,890 in just 24 hours with 0% containment after first sparking on Sunday afternoon.
The smell of smoke was palpable in the SCV Thursday, as the L.A. County Department of Public Health issued a smoke advisory set to remain in effect until Friday, warning residents of the dangers that can come from excessively breathing in an unhealthy level of smoke.
Due to safety concerns from the unhealthy air quality and smoke-impacted regions across the county, county officials announced the College of the Canyons COVID-19 testing site is set to be closed Thursday and Friday.
All residents who had a testing appointment at an impacted testing site are expected to be notified via email to reschedule their appointment.
This comes as the U.S. Forest Service announced the temporary closure of 10 additional national forests in California, after closing those in Southern California earlier this week, meaning all 18 of the state’s forests are closed amid “unprecedented and historic fire conditions.”
“The number of large fires and extreme fire behavior we are seeing across the state is historic,” USFS Regional Forester Randy Moore said in a prepared statement. “These temporary closures are necessary to protect the public and our firefighters, and we will keep them in place until conditions improve and we are confident that national forest visitors can recreate safely. I ask all Californians and visitors to take these closures and evacuations seriously for their own safety and to allow our firefighters to focus on the mission of safely suppressing these fires.”
The smoke advisory warns residents, especially children and those with underlying conditions, to limit their outdoor activities as much as possible and stay indoors.
Residents who smell smoke or see ash due to a wildfire should limit their exposure by remaining indoors with windows and doors closed or seeking alternate shelter, avoiding vigorous physical activity and keeping pets indoors.