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The Bobcat fire casts a pall of unhealthy air over L.A.

The Los Angeles skyline is shrouded in smoke
The Los Angeles skyline is shrouded in smoke from the Bobcat fire.
(Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times)

From the eastern San Gabriel Valley to the western San Fernando Valley to the South Coast, an eerie blanket of smoke from the Bobcat fire caused health advisories across much of Los Angeles County on Saturday, forcing the L.A. Zoo to announce a closure and threatening the Rams’ opening day.

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health warned residents to stay indoors as much as possible and limit physical exertion, indoors or out.

“If you can see smoke, soot, or ash, or you can smell smoke, pay attention to your immediate environment and take precautions to safeguard your health,” said county Health Officer Dr. Muntu Davis. “These precautions are particularly important for children, older adults, and people with heart or lung diseases.”

Davis also advised day camps in smoke-affected areas to suspend outside activities, such as hiking or picnics.

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Air quality around the Rams’ SoFi Stadium in Inglewood was hovering Saturday below the level that, under NFL rules, would trigger either postponement or relocation of the team’s Sunday opener against the Dallas Cowboys.

The Rams’ management said Friday that air quality was being monitored around the stadium but that they expected the game to be played as scheduled.

The Los Angeles Zoo announced Saturday that it will not open Sunday or Monday because of the unhealthy air quality but hopes to reopen Tuesday.

A statement from the zoo said that anyone who has tickets or a reservation for a closed date can request a refund or reschedule.

The zoo is monitoring the animals’ conditions and did not anticipate any ill effects, it said.

The Bobcat fire, which is burning in the Angeles National Forest north of Azusa, has charred more than 30,000 acres. As of Saturday, it was only 6% contained.

Poor air quality also contributed to the closure of eight parks in Los Angeles County: Eaton Canyon, Devil’s Punchbowl, Frank G. Bonelli Regional Park, Lario Staging Area, Marshall Canyon, Peck Road Water Conservation Park, San Dimas Canyon Natural Area and Santa Fe Dam Recreation Area.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District issued smoke advisories Saturday and Sunday covering the southern half of the county including the San Gabriel Mountains.

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  • Central Los Angeles
  • Northwest coastal L.A. County
  • Southwest coastal L.A. County
  • South coastal L.A.
  • Southeast L.A. County
  • West San Fernando Valley
  • East San Fernando Valley
  • West San Gabriel Valley
  • East San Gabriel Valley
  • Pomona-Walnut Valley
  • South San Gabriel Valley
  • South central Los Angeles County
  • Santa Clarita Valley
  • San Gabriel Mountains

Small particles in wildfire smoke can cause burning eyes, runny nose, scratchy throat, headaches and illness such as bronchitis. In people with sensitive conditions, they can cause difficulty breathing, wheezing, coughing, fatigue and chest pain.

The health department advised residents to keep windows and doors closed and turn off air conditioners that do not have a recirculation option to prevent drawing air from outside. If temperatures become too hot at home, residents should go to an air-conditioned place such as a cooling center, it said.

Pets should be kept indoors as well, it said.


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