Wasco Tribune - Serving the community since 1970

By Toni DeRosa
Wasco Tribune and The Shafter Press 

Air pollution is high in the state

 

September 30, 2021 | View PDF



While Arizona residents are dealing with extreme flooding, those in California are dealing with the result of too many fires, of which a by- product is smoke-filled air and ash floating down from the skies.

All outdoor activities, including football games, were canceled due to the poor air quality last weekend. Those with any upper respiratory issues were recommended to stay indoors.

The top five cities in the country with the worst annual air quality levels are all located in the state of California, which include Bakersfield, Fresno, Visalia, Los Angeles-Long Beach and San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland.

The Kern County Pollution Index states that Bakersfield's high air pollution levels are due to the area's high-emission industries (such as agriculture and fossil-fuel based energy production), growing residential emissions and its geographic and climatic conditions, which cause polluted air to become trapped in the valley.

One of the reasons Kern County suffers from so much bad air is the valley sits between mountain ranges and bad air gets caught as if it’s in a pocket, unable to escape.

While temperatures are cooling down, a fall rain would help with the pollution and the recent sprinkling of ash from the fires.

Also, frequent wildfires with mountainous terrain trap pollution and a warm climate helps contribute to ozone formation giving additional challenges to California’s air quality.

When COVID-19 first hit the state and everyone was required to stay at home and isolate, with fewer drivers on the road, many commented that the air in Kern County was the clearest it had been in years and the skies were bright blue for the first time in a long time.

At this time, an announcement has not been made regarding sporting events this coming weekend.

 

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