Sequoia forest fires create hazy skies in SCV

A smoky sunset over Six Flags Magic Mountain on Thursday, 092321. Dan Watson/The Signal

A “significant amount of smoke” from the Windy and KNP Complex fires northeast of Bakersfield in the Sequoia National Forest has entered the Los Angeles area, according to a Thursday morning tweet from the U.S. National Weather Service Los Angeles. 

A link embedded in the tweet links to a high-resolution smoke model that shows smoke staying in the area for the next couple of days. 

“Avoid or limit outdoor activities in areas of the worst smoke,” the tweet advised. 

Air quality levels in Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties have measured at good and moderate levels, according to an advisory issued by the South Coast Air Quality Management District Thursday afternoon.  

The advisory issued in response to the fire smoke said air quality in areas affected by wildfire smoke, which includes the San Gabriel Mountains and most of the Santa Clarita Valley, would reach levels that are unhealthy for sensitive groups from Thursday afternoon until Friday afternoon. 

“To help keep indoor air clean during periods of poor air quality, close all windows and doors and run your air conditioner and/or an air purifier. If possible, do not use whole house fans or swamp coolers that bring in outside air,” AQMD recommended. “Avoid burning wood in your fireplace or firepit and minimize sources of indoor air pollution such as candles, incense, pan-frying, and grilling. Limit the use of gasoline-powered lawn and garden equipment.” 

The Angeles National Forest also issued a smoke advisory for forest visitors, noting they may see and smell smoke from the Sequoia forest fires, according to a tweet sent by the forest’s account. 

The Windy Fire began Sept. 9 due to lightning. It’s burned 43,745 acres and was 6% contained as of Thursday afternoon. The KNP Complex Fire also started on Sept. 9 due to lightning and has burned 33,046 acres. The more than 1,500 firefighters assigned to the fire have not achieved any containment, as of Thursday afternoon. 

The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station also addressed local weather conditions on Twitter. 

“There are no ongoing active brush fires in SCV reported at this time. Please use caution outdoors due to poor air quality,” the station tweeted Thursday morning. 

In the past two weeks, U.S. Forest Service and Los Angeles County Fire Department fire crews fought two brush fires near Castaic. 

The Route Fire, which started on Sept. 11, was fully contained and burned 464 acres.  

The Emigrant Fire, adjacent to Pyramid Lake, has burned 255 acres since it started Sept. 17. It was 80% contained as of Thursday morning. 

This story was updated on Thursday, Sept. 23 at 5:32 p.m.

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