Health Services & Air Quality

Margaret Williams

(530) 642-7164


- Air quality in El Dorado County is currently being impacted intermittently by smoke from the Caples fire and other fires in the State. County Health officials are reminding residents to take precautions should wildfire and prescribed fire smoke impact areas where they live, work and recreate. Prescribed fires are controlled fires conducted by land management agencies when conditions are favorable.  The use of controlled prescribed fire can reduce the air impacts, death and destruction caused by wildfires. Prescribed fire smoke is generally less intense and of much shorter duration than smoke produced by wildfires.

According to El Dorado County Air Pollution Control Officer Dave Johnston, any fire, including less intense fires 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 precautions include the following:

  • Keep windows and doors closed as much as possible
  • Take activities indoors
  • Set the air conditioners in your home and car to re-circulating mode
  • Stay hydrated; 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)
  • Consider creating a 'clean room' at home with an indoor air purifier
  • Limit pets' outdoor activities

During this fire season, El Dorado County may continue to be intermittently impacted by smoke. Smoke conditions can change quickly and vary greatly throughout the County because of the terrain, wind direction and weather.

Last year, the El Dorado County Air Quality Management District (AQMD) purchased and located 42 Purple Air sensors throughout the County to gather real time, location specific information about air quality. Residents can find this information online by visiting or

For more information about air quality issues in El Dorado County, please visit AQMD's website at: The AQMD also has a web page with a great deal of information about wildfire smoke and preventive health measures:

For information on the Caples fire and other fires in California visit:


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