LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Eight Los Angeles County parks have been closed because of the poor air quality caused by the Bobcat and El Dorado wildfires.
The L.A. County Department of Parks and Recreation announced Thursday that the following areas would be closed through at least the weekend:
- Eaton Canyon Natural Area
- Devil’s Punchbowl Natural Area
- Frank G. Bonelli Regional Park
- Lario Staging Area
- Marshall Canyon Regional Park and Nursery
- Peck Road Water Conservation Park
- San Dimas Canyon Natural Area
- Santa Fe Dam Recreation Area
All hiking trails are closed and any preplanned programs have been canceled.
On Thursday, the South Coast Air Quality Management District deemed air quality unhealthy in the West San Gabriel Valley, the East San Gabriel Valley and the San Gabriel Mountains due to the Bobcat Fire, which has burned over 26,000 acres in the Angeles National Forest above Monrovia since Sunday.
The over 13,000-acre El Dorado Fire sparked by pyrotechnics has burned in Yucaipa since Saturday, forcing thousands of evacuations and destroying numerous homes.
The smoke from these two fires – along with the historic number of blazes also burning in Northern California — has cast an eerie, orange glow over much of the Southland.
“A lot of what the rest of the Southern California area is seeing is smoke that’s high up in the atmosphere, and that is smoke from the Northern California and central California fires,” said Philip Fine Thursday, the deputy executive officer for SCAQMD.
The smoke also prompted L.A. County to close six of its COVID-19 testing sites through at least Friday, with some closed on Saturday and Sunday as well.
Even as far south as Santa Ana, pools were closed Thursday because of the unhealthy conditions.
Health experts say that tiny particulates from the fires can be inhaled deep into the lungs and, in some cases, can pass directly into the bloodstream.
Residents along the 210 Corridor from Pasadena to Rancho Cucamonga are experiencing the unhealthiest air of any Southland region Friday due to the high levels of particulate matter in the air. Smoke was expected “to remain closer to the ground overnight,” the South Coast Air Quality Management District reported Thursday.