President Donald Trump approved an emergency declaration Friday and ordered federal aid to California as residents under siege from a series of wildfires were being urged to wear face masks amid deteriorating weather conditions.
As of Friday morning, the Thomas fire – the largest and most destructive in the state – had grown to 132,000 acres with 10 percent containment. The fire, which started Monday, has destroyed 430 buildings and lessened the air quality in a region north of Los Angeles.
“Hazardous is the worst classification that air quality has,” Polly Baldwin, medical director at Santa Barbara County Public Health Department, said Thursday night during a packed town hall meeting in the Carpinteria High School gym.
She urged locals to don face masks outside as the air quality in the city continues to deteriorate. Residents of Carpinteria, an oceanside city near Santa Barbara, fear they could be next in the path of the Thomas fire, the Los Angeles Times reported.