Smoke and ash spilling from the ongoing Getty fire is clogging up the air in areas miles from the blaze, as winds carry it into the neighborhoods of L.A.’s Westside.
On Wednesday morning, the South Coast Air Quality Management District issued an advisory that air quality was found to be “unhealthy for sensitive groups” in parts of L.A. on Tuesday evening. Though the district’s air quality map was mostly showing readings of “moderate” air quality as of Wednesday afternoon, the advisory—effective through Thursday morning—said smoke would likely continue to be pushed into the Pacific Palisades, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, and other communities in Northwest coastal Los Angeles as winds shift directions.
Particularly dangerous for older adults, young children, pregnant women, and people with heart or lung diseases, smoke from wildfires can irritate the eyes, nose, and throat, and trigger asthma attacks. It can also raise the risk of heart attacks and stroke. However, there is a low risk of long-term health effects from smoke exposure for individuals that are healthy.
The district says that individuals who smell or see the smoke and ash should remain indoors and avoid vigorous physical activities. Running an air conditioner with a clean filter can also help. According to the CDC, paper dust masks commonly found at hardware stores are not useful for wildfires, but particulate respirator masks—such as the N95 and P100—can help block out smoke, if they fit snugly and are worn correctly. These masks are not designed for children, however, and can impede breathing if they don’t fit properly.
For more updates on air quality in your area, you can sign up for the South Coast Air Quality Management District’s customizable “Air Alerts.”
Stay on top of the latest in L.A. food and culture. Sign up for our newsletters today.