Haze, signs of smoke and dark clouds over Irvine on Thursday, Sept. 23, may have alarmed Orange County residents and promoted a Special Air Advisory. However, with no local wildfires reported, the lingering signs of smoke may have simply been a product of the various wildfires burning across California.
While the Orange County Fire Authority did not report any fires in Irvine or Orange County, smoke was noticeable on Thursday, enough to the point where the Irvine Police Department addressed the situation on Twitter.
Smoke from the wildfires in Central and Northern California have pushed into the City of Irvine and other areas of Southern California. There are no fires in Orange County or in the Southern California region at this time.
— Irvine Police Department (@IrvinePolice) September 24, 2021
The Irvine Police Department was not the only agency in Orange County tracking the noticeable haze. In fact, South Coast Air Quality Management District issued a Special Air Quality Advisory on Thursday, due to the Central California wildfires. AQMD’s advisory will remain in effect until Friday afternoon.
SPECIAL AIR QUALITY ADVISORY: smoke from Central California Wildfires is expected to move into portions of the South Coast Air Basin and elevate air quality levels: https://t.co/Y158Op74tv pic.twitter.com/uJOUlA0fX7
— South Coast AQMD (@SouthCoastAQMD) September 23, 2021
“Wildfires in central California are producing heavy smoke that is moving south towards the South Coast Air Basin. While the heaviest smoke will be present in the upper atmosphere across the region, impacts on surface air quality are expected in the San Bernardino, San Gabriel, and San Jacinto mountains,” AQMD posted on its website.
While Orange County is not listed pre-weekend smoke advisory, those traveling in between Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside County should take precautions when considering outdoor activities.
As of Thursday, Sept. 23, CALFire reported 94% containment on the Dixie Fire, the state’s largest active blaze, which has now burned a total of 963,276 acres. The Dixie Fire is just one of 10 large wildfires burning within the state, according to CalFire.
CalFire has more than 9,000 personnel battling wildfires across the state, with 535 engines, 204 hand crews 158 bulldozers, 261 water tenders and 87 helicopters, as of Thursday, Sept. 23.
In 2021, more than 7,000 fire events burned 2.35 million acres across California. In terms of acreage, the state’s 2021 total burned acreage has exceeded the five-year average burn total — 1,090,048 — by more than one million acres, with approximately 650 fewer fire events.