Aspen Fire causing unhealthy air across SJ Valley

Courtesy Sierra National Forest

Air quality authorities say smoke from a wildfire east of Fresno and wildfires in Northern California and Oregon has the potential to cause serious health problems for people living in parts of California's Central Valley.

The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District issued a health cautionary statement on Tuesday for the entire air basin. The air is described as unhealthy for sensitive groups in Madera, Fresno, Kings, Tulare and Kern counties, as well as Sequoia National Park.

Officials say the Aspen Fire in the Sierra National Forest about 75 miles northeast of Fresno is contributing to the smoky air. The fire near Shaver Lake has consumed more than 21 square miles. It is 35 percent contained.

Fire produces fine particulate matter that can contribute to asthma attacks.

Smoke also is impacting the Sacramento area, but to a lesser extent.