LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Ash and huge plumes of smoke from the massive Woolsey and Hill fires have degraded the air quality across the Los Angeles region.

Air quality was listed as “unhealthy” in Thousand Oaks and the surrounding areas, and “unhealthy for sensitive groups” in other parts of Ventura County as well as Los Angeles County, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

The Woolsey Fire ripped through 70,000 acres as of Saturday afternoon, destroying at least 150 homes and prompting more than 250,000 residents to evacuate. While the Hill Fire burned 6,000 acres.

The air quality denotes people are at risk of experiencing difficultly breathing, wheezing, bronchitis, cough, chest pain, inflammation, irregular heartbeat, irritated eyes and other symptoms.

The elderly and those with asthma are particularly susceptible.

The strong Santa Ana winds have fueled the fires, particularly the Woolsey Fire that is moving toward the coast.

Those who aren’t directly in the vicinity of the flames are still at risk. The South Coast Air Quality Management District warned residents, particularly those who see smoke or ash, to “limit your exposure by remaining indoors with windows and doors closed or seeking alternate shelter, and avoiding vigorous physical activity.”

For tips on how to protect yourself during a wildfire, click here.


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