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Smoke-filled skies result in cancelled activities in Citrus Heights, poor air quality

A photo taken Aug. 20 shows smoke-filled skies in Citrus Heights. // M. Hazlip

By Mike Hazlip–
The skies of Citrus Heights glowed an eerie orange as smoke from distant wildfires blanketed the region this week.

The poor air quality forced the cancellation of some outdoor activities. Sunrise Recreation and Park District canceled swimming lessons at Rusch Pool Thursday and several kids programs offered by the park district were cancelled Friday due to air quality concerns.

The air quality index for Citrus Heights remained in the unhealthy range at a rating of 161 on Saturday, according to AirNow, a partnership of the EPA, NOAA, NASA, and CDC. The forecast shows unhealthy air through next Thursday, according to the data.

Numerous wildfires were ignited across California after a lightning storm last week. The fire known as the LNU Lightning Complex is the nearest to Citrus Heights and is currently burning in the Sonoma-Napa county region. It was 15% contained as of Saturday evening, according to information from CalFire.

The agency lists the LNU Lightning Complex as the second largest wildfire in California history at more than 314,000 acres and 560 structures burned. Four deaths are attributed to the fire.

The largest wildfire in California history remains the 2018 Mendocino Complex fire. That wildfire destroyed 459,123 acres, 280 structures, and claimed one life.

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