Solano County

Record highs, light winds trap smog in Fairfield region

By From page A1 | May 14, 2014

spare the air_heat 5_13_14

Cars line up during Tuesday's afternoon rush hour on eastbound Interstate 80. The Bay Area Air Quality Management District issued a third consecutive Spare the Air alert for Wednesday in the Benicia-Fairfield-Suisun City-Vallejo region of Solano County. (Robinson Kuntz/Daily Republic)

FAIRFIELD — Record high temperatures during a four-day heat wave combined with light winds this week created conditions that led the region’s air district on Tuesday to issue the summer’s third consecutive Spare the Air alert for Wednesday.

Highs Wednesday should reach the mid-90s with light wind, according to the National Weather Service. Temperatures are forecast to move to the low 90s Thursday before dropping to the low 80s Friday.

The high temperatures through Thursday, combined with light breezes, are prime conditions to create poor air quality in the area.

Projected air quality in the Bay Area Air Quality Management District’s Eastern Zone, which includes Fairfield, Suisun City and Travis Air Force Base, is driving the regional Spare the Air alert. Air quality in the area is expected to remain unhealthy to sensitive groups through Thursday.

Monday and Tuesday were also a Spare the Air day.

Monday saw a record high temperature for the day – 88 degrees – at Travis Air Force Base, according to Mike Pechner, owner of Golden West Meteorology in the Cordelia Villages area of Fairfield. Tuesday’s high of 91 at the base tied a record set in 2006.

Air district officials call 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, 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.

Air quality in the adjacent Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management District is also projected to be unhealthy Wednesday for people who are sensitive to the effects of smog, but there is no Spare the Air alert for Vacaville, Dixon, Rio Vista and the surrounding rural areas of Solano County.

Reach Glen Faison at 427-6925 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GlenFaison.

Glen Faison

Glen Faison

Glen Faison joined the Daily Republic as managing editor in September 2009. He previously worked as a reporter and editor for daily and weekly newspapers in the San Joaquin Valley for 20-plus years. His experience includes time as editor of the Golden Eagle, a military paper serving the Lemoore Naval Air Station. He graduated from Fresno State University with a bachelor's degree in journalism and bleeds Bulldogs red. He is an avid fan of the NFL's Washington team, and attended the 1988 NFC Championship Game against the Minnesota Vikings at RFK Stadium. He's a member of the Fairfield-Suisun Twilight Rotary Club and a board member for the Solano County Library Foundation. He married his wife, Jill, in 2005, and has three children: Courtni, Tyler and Hayli.

Discussion | 6 comments

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  • The MisterMay 14, 2014 - 6:34 am

    Scare the air!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Rich GiddensMay 14, 2014 - 6:41 am

    Its a crisis---we need another government program with a tyrannical leader to tell us what to do.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • PornacMay 14, 2014 - 6:41 am

    These are communist tactics to control the masses. Be afraid!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • JazzAzzMay 14, 2014 - 7:42 am

    These people are P_SSING in the wind. They have us by the gonads in winter on the DO NOT BURN days, since some of the politicals here bought into that East Bay Area BullCrap (Don't vote for them, Is Spering one??). But there is no teeth in what they say on these summer type days. No Lawn mowing, or small gas engine usage, they ask us, or driving your vehicles. YEAH RIGHT!!!!! As my lawn gets longer and longer (I usually go 11, 12 days the longest between mowing) I will mow AS I SEE FIT, but naturally earlier in the day, before it gets too hot for me. And having to get somewhere???? I AM NOT WALKING or RIDING A BIKE. And as far as these M_R_NS on this board, these WILL NEVER BECOME mandatory, as the winter no burn days, since they would cut into too many people's livelihood, landscapers and such. So for this time of the year, I can truly say>>>HEY AIR RESOURCES BOARD>>>>>KISS THIS>>>AIN'T GONNA HAPPEN!!!!!!!!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • JagMay 14, 2014 - 9:21 am

    Jazz I just want to add on a HOT day I drive my SUV with the AC on full BLAST

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Rich GiddensMay 14, 2014 - 5:55 pm

    This is also the kind of weather that brings out drunk drivers, gangbanger thugs, road rage and loud neighborhood parties after 10 pm. Looks like Fairfield is now due for its next horrific crime in the next 72 hours.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
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