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When a wildfire burns, what happens to the air we breathe?




The 14 Freeway in the Antelope Valley was closed to vehicles Sunday afternoon as the Sand Fire burned near the freeway. 

The Sand Fire burns in the Angeles National Forest Sunday July 24th, 2016 under a Red Flag Warning high high winds. The fire had burned 22,000 acres by Sunday morning and was 10% contained as firefighters battled low humidity, shifting wind, and high temperatures. An unknown number of structures were lost.
The 14 Freeway in the Antelope Valley was closed to vehicles Sunday afternoon as the Sand Fire burned near the freeway. The Sand Fire burns in the Angeles National Forest Sunday July 24th, 2016 under a Red Flag Warning high high winds. The fire had burned 22,000 acres by Sunday morning and was 10% contained as firefighters battled low humidity, shifting wind, and high temperatures. An unknown number of structures were lost.
Stuart Palley for KPCC

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A blood red sun. Orange skies raining ash. Tweet after tweet referencing "Armageddon."

Air quality
Air quality
Scott Kolanach

 

All over L.A., people reacted this weekend to the vast plumes of smoke wafting across town from the fire in Santa Clarita. 

And a lot of folks decided it was a good time to stay inside, and avoid the bad air.

Take Two talks with Jeff Pierce, professor of atmospheric science at Colorado State University, who's leading a three-year NASA-funded study on wildfires and their effect on skies and air quality.

To hear the full interview, click the blue play button above.