Air quality alert issued for Auburn area; children and people with asthma most at risk

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Officials on Wednesday afternoon issued an alert as air quality in the Auburn area unexpectedly reached an unhealthy level that would put children and people with asthma most at risk.

The Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District issued the real time alert as the Auburn area reached an air quality index of 151 at 3 and 4 p.m. Wednesday. A Spare the Air Day is triggered when the AQI is expected to reach or exceed 126.

The Sacramento region’s air quality monitors issued the first Spare the Air alert of the year on Tuesday. The healthy range of air quality is between zero and 50 AQI, according to the Spare the Air website.

When the AQI level reaches 151 to 200, the Air Quality Management District says everyone may begin to experience some adverse health effects and should limit prolonged outdoor exertion, especially members of sensitive groups.

There is a greater likelihood of respiratory symptoms and breathing difficulty in active children and adults and people with respiratory disease; respiratory effects may also occur in the general population, according to the air alert issued Wednesday for Auburn.

Officials recommend reducing the intensity and duration of outdoor activities in the afternoon and remaining indoors during unhealthy air pollution episodes.

Most areas in the region, including downtown Sacramento, had moderate air quality Wednesday afternoon; the towns of Colfax in Placer County, Cool in El Dorado County and Grass Valley in Nevada County had AQI levels that were unhealthy for sensitive groups.