Bloomberg Law
Feb. 13, 2019, 11:31 PM

Wildfires Burn Up Air Quality Warnings, Leaving Public in Lurch

Amena H. Saiyid
Amena H. Saiyid

Air pollution from California wildfires in 2017 and 2018 spiked so high and so rapidly that air quality models couldn’t keep up. That poses a problem for state officials charged with keeping the public informed about air quality.

Existing air quality indexes measure pollution from fine airborne particles and carbon monoxide on a 24-hour average, but that doesn’t capture how rapidly smoke from wildfires can reach unhealthy levels. New tools are needed to track those changes and keep the public informed, said Jack Broadbent, chief executive officer for the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, which regulates air ...

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