FAIRFIELD — A moderate heat wave and light breezes early this week should produce unhealthy air in and around Fairfield, prompting the region’s air district to issue the summer’s first Spare the Air alert for Monday.
Highs Monday should reach the low 90s with light wind, according to the National Weather Service. Temperatures will creep into the mid- to upper 90s Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
These are prime conditions to create poor air quality in the area.
The Bay Area Air Quality Management District calls summer Spare the Air days when ground-level ozone, or smog, makes air quality unhealthy. Breathing air with high levels of ozone can irritate a person’s eyes, nose and throat and cause coughing and headaches. Ozone can reduce lung function, aggravate asthma and damage the lining of the lung.
Children, adults who are active outdoors and people who have an unusual susceptibility to the effects of ozone are most at risk, according to the air district’s website.
People are asked on Spare the Air days to cut back on any activities that cause pollution. That includes such things as driving and using oil-based paints, gasoline-powered lawn mowers or household aerosol products such as hair sprays. People who are sensitive to unhealthy air are advised to limit their time outdoors, particularly in the afternoon hours.
The summer Spare the Air season in the Bay Area generally runs from May through mid-October when clear skies, hot temperatures, lighter-than-usual winds and strong temperature inversions combine to create smoggy conditions, according to the air district’s website.
The district includes Benicia, Vallejo, Fairfield, Suisun City and Travis Air Force base and extends north to the southern edge of Vacaville. The district is divided into five zones. When air quality in a single zone is expected to become unhealthy, a Spare the Air alert is issued for the entire district.
Fairfield is located in the district’s Eastern Zone, where Monday’s air quality is projected as unhealthy for sensitive groups.
The Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management District includes Vacaville, Dixon and Rio Vista. Monday is not a Spare the Air day in the Yolo-Solano air district.
Reach Glen Faison at 427-6925 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GlenFaison.