FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KSEE) – High winds and bad air quality canceled events and downed trees in the Central Valley Monday.
“We thought that it was a tornado because you could actually see the wind blowing stuff down the street,” Kenneth Tate said.
Tate was helping out his neighbor after a tree fell on her house and worked to block off the dangerous area until city crews were able to clear it.
“We have a lot of kids on this street so we’re really trying to keep those kids out from playing in this area,” he said.
The wind gusts also stirred up dust, quickly bringing the air quality index to hazardous levels.
Fresno state notified students outdoor classes and activities would be canceled after the AQI reached 375 and employees who generally work outside were asked to work indoors for the remainder of the day.
Over at The Big Fresno Fair, wind speeds grounded six rides for the safety of fair guests. The weather also canceled the horse races.
“It’s not something that we do lightly. It’s not something that we want to have happened, but the health and safety of our athletes is our number one priority,” Lauri King the deputy manager of the fair said.
She said the AQI needs to be 150 or below for athletes to perform and when the decision was made it was 225. King said this is only the second time in her 20 years the races have been canceled.
Fair officials do not anticipate any other days will be impacted and said some of the planned races were moved to Friday.
Fresno residents looking to report a downed tree from the wind can either use the FresGo app or call 3-1-1.