With Santa Ana winds finally dying down, Orange County agriculture officials are optimistic that the county’s first malathion spraying against the Mediterranean fruit fly will go as planned tonight.
“Everything is going as planned,” said Nick Nisson, a county entomologist. “Things look real calm and they are expected to stay calm. Everything’s a go.”
Meanwhile, the county’s Medfly Hotline reported an increased number of calls, mostly from residents wondering whether they are in the spray area. Richard Tiffer, a county plant pathologist who is working on the hot line, said it received about 120 calls this morning.
Two helicopters will be used in the spraying, which is scheduled to last from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. State officials say they can wait until minutes before takeoff time from El Monte Airport for a final determination on whether to go ahead.
If winds exceed 5 m.p.h., the spraying may have to be postponed for fear of spreading the pesticide beyond the 10-square-mile target area. The area encompasses parts of Brea, La Habra and Fullerton.