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Breathing in toxic wildfire smoke on California’s Central, South Coasts

Wildfire smoke photo
Lance Orozco
Thick smoke fills the air during the 2017 Thomas Fire. During these types of events we are inhaling toxic particles that come from the wildfire smoke.

Do you know how many days of the year, on average, you are breathing in toxic wildfire smoke if you live along California’s Central, South Coast?

A new investigation by NPR’s California Newsroom calculated that exact number for every zip code in the United States. For Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties those numbers are not good.

For more than a month every year our communities are inhaling wildfire smoke -- that’s more than double what it was less than a decade ago.

In this episode of The One Oh One, an in-depth conversation about wildfire smoke, what it's doing to us, and what we can do about it.

You can read the digital version of this episode here. This includes an interactive map that allows you to put in your home address so you can see the exact number of days you’re breathing in wildfire smoke each year.

Michelle Loxton joined KCLU in June 2021 as Podcast and Digital Content Producer.