Smoke from Heritage Fire affects communities in the Helendale area, Barstow – VVNG.com

BARSTOW, California (VVNG.com) – The Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District (MDAQMD) is advising on unhealthy air quality on Tuesday, March 15, 2022, and will potentially continue into the evening due to forest fire smoke.

This warning is valid for Helendale / Silver Lakes and communities in the immediate north including Barstow and the surrounding area.

MDAQMD officials said smoke was blowing northeast of the Heritage fire, which broke out on Monday (March 14th) north of Oro Grande near the National Trails Highway.

According to the agency, the smoke from the incident settled overnight in the communities in the north. “Cheap ground level particle sensors showed an increase in the levels of PM10 and PM2.5, a pollutant found in forest fire smoke, in ambient air.”

PM2.5 levels may continue to rise depending on fire fighting and changing winds.

(School officials in affected communities may consider changing plans to reduce student exposure to fire smoke. This graph shows recommendations for outdoor activities related to different levels of air pollution.)

Increasing smoke levels can affect everyone, but it is especially unhealthy for those with heart and respiratory diseases, children, the elderly and active adults.
In any area affected by poor air quality including smoke:

  • everyone should consider avoiding any strenuous effort outdoors or indoors;
  • people with respiratory or heart disease, the elderly and children should consider staying indoors;
  • keep windows and doors closed;
  • start your air conditioner if you have one – the recirculation function is ideal;
  • avoid using swamp coolers or fans for the whole house to prevent external contaminants from entering inside.


As of 11:40 a.m. Tuesday morning, the latest mapping flight shows that the fire is on 500 acres. Retention has increased proportionately and remains at 10%.

The San Bernardino County Fire Department said Tuesday morning that the fire was actively burning well past midnight with numerous wind changes until the pre-dawn hours before finally calming down.

The period of active combustion led to continuous progress together with heavy fuel that burned inside until the end of the incident.

Firefighters are reinforcing with new people this morning. Three strike teams of engines, one dozer and a hand crew from County Fire will be supported by additional resources from CalFire and the Victorville Fire Department.

Objectives today include expanding and improving existing protection lines and assessing damage or loss of structure. Smoke will still be visible in the high desert with a possible increase in fire activity as the day continues to heat up.

An evacuation warning remains in effect for residences from Melrose Avenue south to Roy Rogers Drive and between Bryman Road and the bottom of the Mojave River. There are sporadic power outages due to damage to numerous poles and transmission lines.

No civilians or firefighters have been injured so far. The cause of the fire is still being investigated by the district fire department.

Smoke from heritage fire
(Hugo C. Valdez, VVNG.com)

Smoke from Heritage Fire affects communities in the Helendale area, Barstow – VVNG.com

Source link Smoke from Heritage Fire affects communities in the Helendale area, Barstow – VVNG.com

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