Butte County air quality hampered by ozone, fires

CHICO, Calif. - Butte County air quality as seen clearer days, and authorities say while the summer season typically sees hazy skies, smoke from fires to the south created worse conditions in recent days.

While much of the smoke has dissipated or moved out of the region, air quality indexes still rate the Chico and Paradise areas as "unhealthy for sensitive groups."

That can be the case on many summer days, but officials with the Butte County Air Quality Management District say smoke from a wildfire in Mendocino County created harsher conditions than normal over the weekend.

"We have the perfect storm right now; the high ozone occurrence because of the conditions--our typical summer time conditions--and we have the impacts from the wildfires," said Air Quality Manager Armen Kamian.

Kamian says Butte and Tehama Counties also sit in the perfect, or worst, place geographically for trapping particle ridden air.

Air in the summer is pushed out of the Bay Area and into the Sacramento Valley, before becoming backing up into the foothills and becoming stagnant.

While smoke from wildfires has diminished, hazy summer skies are expected throughout the summer, as usual.

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