Friday, July 25, 2008

Air Quality Worst Yet

Ken Zigler, a strike team leader with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, stands on top of an overlook off of Westside Road near Shasta Dam Thursday afternoon while trying to get a view of hot spots still burning in the Motion Fire.

Air quality is "very unhealthy" in Shasta County for the second day in a row. Smoke from the wildfires put the Air Quality Index at 250 early this afternoon. That is the highest average 24-hour smoke particle concentration yet measured at the monitor in Anderson, which has been running since 1999, said Ross Bell, Air Quality District Manager.

The Air Quality Index average this morning was 221. It was 226 Thursday afternoon, according to the Air Quality Management District. Any reading above 151 points on the Air Quality Index in considered unhealthy for everyone. Readings above 301 points rank as "hazardous."

Forestry Aide Nick Tadlock, with United States Forest Service of Rapid City, S. D., monitors a back burn along Dutch Creek Road Tuesday afternoon. The controlled burn was started in an effort to contain the Eagle Fire threatening residents in Junction City.