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Fires bring smoke, ash and poor air quality back to parts of Southern California

A large plume of smoke from the Bond fire rises in the hills above Santiago Canyon Road
A large plume of smoke from the Bond fire rises in the hills above Santiago Canyon Road in Orange County on Thursday.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Smoke from fires in Orange County and the Inland Empire is causing poor air quality in parts of Southern California on Thursday.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s Air Now monitoring website showed air quality in Orange, Irvine, Tustin and other areas near the Bond fire hovering in the unhealthy range, and advised people to reduce time outdoors and avoid strenuous activities.

The blaze, which ignited late Wednesday, ballooned to 7,200 acres, and officials said multiple structures may have been damaged by the fire.

The EPA’s fire and smoke map also showed effects of the region’s fires — including the Bond fire, the Cerritos fire and the Airport fire — stretching beyond the coast with the potential to affect swaths of people from Newport Beach to Torrance.

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The South Coast Air Quality Management District issued an advisory warning of poor conditions in Orange County as well as Long Beach.

In a statement, the AQMD said: “Both the Bond and Airport fires are producing heavy smoke on Thursday morning based on satellite and webcam imagery and air quality measurements. On Thursday morning, unhealthy air quality index (AQI) levels are being recorded throughout northern Orange County and the Long Beach area due to the Airport fire .... The Bond fire is affecting air quality throughout central Orange County in cities such as Newport Beach, Irvine and Lake Forest with AQI levels reaching the very unhealthy category in places. There are also widespread reports of ash fall throughout Orange County.”

The advisory lasts through Friday.


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