The City of Porterville Council Chamber has been designated as a Clean Air Center due to bad air quality. The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (SJVAPCD) issued an air quality alert on August 30, 2023, and as the only Clean Air Center in Tulare County, the City of Porterville will have air filtration systems available to the public. The air filtration systems are located within Council Chambers at City Hall. The funding for the filtration systems was provided through Assembly Bill 836, which was established to create Wildfire Smoke Clean Air Centers for Vulnerable Populations and to establish a network of publicly assessable facilities with high-efficiency air filtration systems for valley residents who may not otherwise have access to clean air during wildfire events. City Council Chambers will be available to the public during normal business hours, Monday – Friday, 7:30 AM – 5:30 PM.
Ongoing wildfires in northern California, including the Redwood Fire in Tulare County are generating smoke that is now affecting the San Joaquin Valley. Weather patterns through this weekend have the potential to continue to draw wildfire smoke into the Valley counties including Tulare. As a result, the District has issued an Air Quality Alert with the National Weather Service. Residents impacted by the smoke are advised to stay indoors to minimize exposure to particulate matter (PM) emissions.
The District strongly urges the public to take health-protective actions to stay safe when smoke from wildfires affects the Valley, including following air quality recommendations when making decisions about outdoor activities. Additional health protective actions include:
- Staying indoors.
- Using portable air cleaners or high-efficiency filters to remove fine particles from the air.
- Planning ahead and creating a “clean air room”.
- Visiting a Clean Air Center. Similar to the Valley’s cooling centers, the District’s Clean Air Centers provide relief when wildfires & smoke events occur.
Particulate matter can trigger asthma attacks, aggravate chronic bronchitis, and increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. Individuals with heart or lung disease should follow their doctors’ advice for dealing with episodes of PM exposure. Those with existing respiratory conditions, including COVID-19, young children and the elderly, are especially susceptible to the health effects from this form of pollution. Anyone experiencing poor air quality due to wildfire smoke should move to a filtered, air-conditioned environment with windows closed.
For details on wildfires affecting the Valley, visit the District’s Wildfire Resource page at www.valleyair.org/wildfires. In addition, uses RAAN to check air quality at any Valley location at myRAAN.com, or the District’s “Valley Air” mobile application, and view the EPA AirNow Fire and Smoke map (https://fire.airnow.gov/) for information regarding smoke impacts. You can also contact Heather Heinks at 559-994-7591 (media contact) or Maricela Velásquez 559-708-7087 (Spanish-language media contact).