FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Smoke from the Electra Fire burning outside Stockton has blown south to the Central Valley, creating the tell-tale gray color in the skies above Fresno.

The fire began Monday evening in Amador County and crews on the scene placed it southeast of Jackson. As of Tuesday afternoon, it has burned over 3,000 acres.

While the cause of the Electra Fire is under investigation, the effect of the flames can be plainly seen. The federal government’s Air Quality Index clearly shows the smoke emanating from the fire and traveling south, spreading itself across the Central Valley basin.

Image courtesy of the U.S. Air Quality Index

The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District posted on Twitter that localized impacts are expected and residents in affected areas should remain indoors with windows and doors closed. The district’s advice is if you can smell smoke, then that is an indication that there is fine particulate matter in the air – which will ultimately impact your health.

The way smoke impacts your health starts with aggravating any kind of respiratory condition that you might already have. According to the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, that includes COPD, COVID-19, asthma and bronchitis.

The solution is simply to wait it out. Air officials say limit your time outside and wear a mask (specifically a NIOSH-approved N95 respirator) to limit the amount of particulate matter entering your body. While you are inside, be sure to close your windows and doors, run your air conditioning on recirculate with a new filter, and avoid vacuuming or frying food. More information on how to protect yourself from wildfire smoke can be found here.

Residents can also use the district’s RAAN (real-time air advisory network) tool to see what the current air quality situation is – and what it was like earlier in the day and on previous days as well.