This is the Southcoast Air Quality Management District with an air quality update as of 5:00 pm October 28th, 2003, for Northwest Coastal Los Angeles County.
Currently this area has moderate air quality with a maximum AQI reading of 76 for the pollutant nitron dioxide. The forecast for tomorrow predicts unhealthful air quality with a maximum AQI reading of 120 for the pollutant particulate matter. At this level susceptible persons, such as those with heart or lung disease should minimize outdoor activity.
One thing about these wildfires, at least the sky is a different, odd color every day it would seem dependent upon which particular chemical is in the lead for polluting the air that day.
Sunday, we were choking mostly on ozone. While ozone packed a nice punch, its invisibility left us viewing a nice charcoal gray sky from the smoke and ash.
Today, nitrogen dioxide was the clear winner, getting into the Halloween spirit by casting an eerie orange haze across the sky.
Tomorrow, they're predicting particulate matter to win out, and that should be brown. Earth tones are in, fo shizzle, but "brown" is just not an exciting color. I think we should take a page from car companies to dress it up a bit. (It sure beats driving to Home Depot for paint swatches to get ideas, right?) "Golden sand" has a nice ring to it, or let's look at the 350Z and call it "Le Mans Sunset". Yes, Le Mans Sunset sounds much nicer than "baby shit brown", don't you agree?
My mom has called daily to make sure I'm staying indoors and have all the windows closed. As much as I enjoy that chargrilled flavor I smell and taste while breathing outside, it's a little unnerving to think that in my last last breath of smokey mesquite I might have inhaled someone's beloved pet. Suffice it to say, mom, rest assured in knowing my windows are closed and my car's A/C on recirculate.
Additionally, I've managed to dig up any allergy medications I can find in my cabinets. Flonase® (fluticasone propionate, which sounds like something I might order in an Italian restaurant) and Clarinex, which sounds like something I might have played in band, have become a part of my daily ritual. Together they help stem the tide of mucus that might otherwise be flowing down my non-smoker's throat.
Of course my travails are nothing compared to the horrors of those whose homes and worldly possessions have been reduced into a new, dull finish for my car. Why couldn't they have built homes out of carnuba wax?
And no one likes to hear this, but these fires are really part of a natural renewing process which has been going on long before humans inhabited the Earth. Without them, new plant life wouldn't grow and computer graphics geeks in newsrooms across the country would never get to use those cool animated fire graphics. Circle of life, I guess.