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‘Dam Fire’ smoke impacting air quality across the Victor Valley

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This photo from the top of the MDAQMD building in Victorville looking west shows smoke wafting into the Mojave Desert Air Basin from the Dam Fire in Azusa on Thursday, July 30, 2020.

Advisory in place for Wrightwood, Phelan, Pinon Hills, Oak Hills

VICTOR VALLEY, Calif. — The Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District has issued an official smoke advisory due to impacts from the Dam Fire that broke out Thursday afternoon near Azusa.

The Damn fire is reported to be 240 acres with 0% containment and has prompted mandatory evacuations North of Morris Dam to Crystal Lake, according to the Angeles National Forest Service. The smoke plum from the fire can be seen from Nasa.

Officials said heavy smoke, visible from across the High Desert, is moving up and over the San Gabriel mountains into the Mojave Desert Air Basin.

“Air quality sensor data shows impacts to ambient (breathable) air quality in Phelan and the immediate surrounding communities. Other areas of the MDAQMD jurisdiction were unaffected as of 3:45 p.m. Thursday,” stated officials.

Initial data indicated Air Quality Index levels were in the Unhealthy (Red) category. Everyone may be affected at this AQI level, and it’s particularly unhealthy for those with heart and respiratory illnesses, children, seniors and active adults.

In any area impacted by smoke:
•    everyone should avoid any vigorous outdoor or indoor exertion;
•    people with respiratory or heart disease, older adults, and children should remain indoors;
•    keep windows and doors closed;
•    run your air conditioner if you have one; recirculation function is ideal. 
•    avoid using a swamp cooler or whole-house fan to prevent bringing additional smoke inside.

Levels of smoke and particulates will depend on changes in winds and the containment of the fire. This advisory will be in effect as long as conditions warrant.

MDAQMD encourages residents to check local air quality levels by visiting www.AirNow.gov or www.enviroflash.info where you can sign up for text and email alerts with Air Quality forecasts.

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