Smoke and haze are impacting air quality and reducing visibility in Mendocino and Lake Counties. The dry, hot climate is making the situation much more precarious, and air quality has greatly deteriorated due to the presence of the smoke from the Mendocino Complex wildfires.
Currently, air monitors show particulate matter concentrations in the "Moderate" range for most of Mendocino County and "Very Unhealthy" to "Hazardous" for Lake County. This may continue until the fires are out and cooler weather returns.
If you need a protective mask, they are available at the Ukiah, Willits, and Covelo library branches free of charge. A “N-95” type mask fits closely on your face and filters out the airborne particles in the smoke. Surgical masks will not protect your lungs from wildfire smoke.
According to Mendocino County’s Public Health Officer Dr. Gary Pace, heavy smoke can pose a danger to everyone. If someone can smell or taste smoke, or experiences itchy eyes or a scratchy throat, this is unhealthy and they should stay indoors as much as possible. Those with heart or lung disease, including asthma, should consider leaving areas of heavy smoke if possible. Otherwise, they should stay indoors with doors and windows closed.
For the complete schedule of open hours at each Library Branch, go to https://www.mendolibrary.org/locations