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Air quality at hazardous levels in foothill cities

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The Angeles National Forest fire has reduced air quality to hazardous levels in foothill communities in the San Gabriel and San Fernando valleys, officials say.

The cities of Altadena, La Cañada Flintridge and La Crescenta are directly affected by the smoke, as are the Los Angeles communities of Tujunga and Sunland.

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The area Sunday recorded an air Quality index of 398. Anything above 100 is considered unhealthful, officials said.

‘It’s been a long time since we’ve recorded an [index] of this high a level,’ said Sam Atwood, spokesman for the South Coast Air Quality Management District.

Dense smoke tends to settle into valleys when there is no wind. Some of the smoke was expected to be swept into the mountains by ocean breezes this morning, Atwood said.

‘It’s really time for people with heart and lung disease -- bronchitis, asthma, emphysema -- to think about leaving to a less smoky area,’ Atwood said.

-- Corina Knoll


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